Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "The history of the borough, castle, and barony of Alnwick"

See other formats

This  is  a  digital  copy  of  a  book  that  was  preserved  for  generations  on  library  shelves  before  it  was  carefully  scanned  by  Google  as  part  of  a  project 
to  make  the  world's  books  discoverable  online. 

It  has  survived  long  enough  for  the  copyright  to  expire  and  the  book  to  enter  the  public  domain.  A  public  domain  book  is  one  that  was  never  subject 
to  copyright  or  whose  legal  copyright  term  has  expired.  Whether  a  book  is  in  the  public  domain  may  vary  country  to  country.  Public  domain  books 
are  our  gateways  to  the  past,  representing  a  wealth  of  history,  culture  and  knowledge  that's  often  difficult  to  discover. 

Marks,  notations  and  other  marginalia  present  in  the  original  volume  will  appear  in  this  file  -  a  reminder  of  this  book's  long  journey  from  the 
publisher  to  a  library  and  finally  to  you. 

Usage  guidelines 

Google  is  proud  to  partner  with  libraries  to  digitize  public  domain  materials  and  make  them  widely  accessible.  Public  domain  books  belong  to  the 
public  and  we  are  merely  their  custodians.  Nevertheless,  this  work  is  expensive,  so  in  order  to  keep  providing  this  resource,  we  have  taken  steps  to 
prevent  abuse  by  commercial  parties,  including  placing  technical  restrictions  on  automated  querying. 

We  also  ask  that  you: 

+  Make  non-commercial  use  of  the  files  We  designed  Google  Book  Search  for  use  by  individuals,  and  we  request  that  you  use  these  files  for 
personal,  non-commercial  purposes. 

+  Refrain  from  automated  querying  Do  not  send  automated  queries  of  any  sort  to  Google's  system:  If  you  are  conducting  research  on  machine 
translation,  optical  character  recognition  or  other  areas  where  access  to  a  large  amount  of  text  is  helpful,  please  contact  us.  We  encourage  the 
use  of  public  domain  materials  for  these  purposes  and  may  be  able  to  help. 

+  Maintain  attribution  The  Google  "watermark"  you  see  on  each  file  is  essential  for  informing  people  about  this  project  and  helping  them  find 
additional  materials  through  Google  Book  Search.  Please  do  not  remove  it. 

+  Keep  it  legal  Whatever  your  use,  remember  that  you  are  responsible  for  ensuring  that  what  you  are  doing  is  legal.  Do  not  assume  that  just 
because  we  believe  a  book  is  in  the  public  domain  for  users  in  the  United  States,  that  the  work  is  also  in  the  public  domain  for  users  in  other 
countries.  Whether  a  book  is  still  in  copyright  varies  from  country  to  country,  and  we  can't  offer  guidance  on  whether  any  specific  use  of 
any  specific  book  is  allowed.  Please  do  not  assume  that  a  book's  appearance  in  Google  Book  Search  means  it  can  be  used  in  any  manner 
anywhere  in  the  world.  Copyright  infringement  liability  can  be  quite  severe. 

About  Google  Book  Search 

Google's  mission  is  to  organize  the  world's  information  and  to  make  it  universally  accessible  and  useful.  Google  Book  Search  helps  readers 
discover  the  world's  books  while  helping  authors  and  publishers  reach  new  audiences.  You  can  search  through  the  full  text  of  this  book  on  the  web 

at|http  :  //books  .  google  .  com/ 








of  Harvard  College 

3?*'    V 




Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 







BT    GEOEaE    TA.TE,    F.G.S., 

Corresponding  Member  of  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  for  Scotland ;  Local  Secretary  of  the 

Anthropological  Society,  London;  Secretary  of  the  Berwickshire  NaturaliBts* 

Club ;  Honorary  Meinl)er  of  the  Hasting's  Philosophical  Society,  &c. 

VOL.  I. 



Digitized  by 



MAR    17   1891 

•  -/ 


Digitized  by 



Situation  of  Town  and  Parish — Physical  Featiirea — Importance  of  its  Old 
History  ........         1 

Etymology  of  Alnwick — Early  Inhabitants — The  Otadeni — Forts  and  Dwell- 
ings— Sepulchres — Urns — Stone  Weapons  and  Instruments  —  Bronze 
Relics — Gold  Ornaments — Standing  Stone — Celtic  Names— Remains  in 
North  Northumberland — Ethnology — Stone  Circle — Inscribed  Rocks     4 

Itineraries — Alauna — Devil's  Causeway — Roman  Coins — Roman  Altar      29 

liegendary  Accounts -of  the  Saxon  Lords  of  Alnwick — Chronicle  of  Alnwick 
Abbey — The  Tysons — ^Sazon  Settlements  in  Alnwick — Bocklands  and 
Folclands — Saxon  Dwellings  and  Vills — Alnwick  Subordinate  to  Lesbury 
— Saxon  Churches— Alnmouth  Saxon  Cross — The  Danes— Close  of  the 
Saxon  Period  ........      32 

TYSON  AND  DE  VESCY  PERIOD,  FROM  1066  TO  1297. 
Doomsday  Book — Gislebert  Tyson  and  His  Descendants — Malcolm  Caenmore 
Slain — Aialcolm's  Cross — Yvo  De  Vescy — Eustace  Fitz-John — Lands 
Granted  to  Him — Siege  of  Bamburgh  Cas'Je — Battle  of  the  Standard — 
Churches  and  Abbeys  Founded— William  De  Vescy— Siege  of  Alnwick 
Castle — ^William  the  Lion  taken  Prisoner — GlanviUe-  the  Chief  Justiciar 
— Gifts  to  the  Church — Eustace  De  Vescy — War  with  Scotland — King 
John  at  Alnwick — His  Attempt  to  Dishonour  Eustace's  Wife — He  Bums 
Alnwick — WiUiam  De  Vescy — Testa  De  Neville — John  De  Vescy — Civil 
War — Montford — Alnwick  Castle  Besieged  by  Prince  Edward — John  De 
Vescy  in  Holy  Land — William  De  Vescy  Accused  of  Felony — Claims  to 
the  Kingdom  of  Scotland— Character  of  the  De  Vescys      .  .      43 



Norman  Castle — Norman  Town — Royal  Visits— Inquisition  into  the  Value  of 
the  Barony — Knights'  Fees— Demesne  Lands— Bondmen  and  Cotiuon — 
Socage  Freeholders — Deed  of  Conveyance  of  a  House  in  Narrowgate — 
Dren^age — Royal  Inquiry  into  Feudal  Usages— Knights  Templar — 
Knights  of  St.  John  of  Jerusalem— Alnwick  Charters — Borough  ISeal — 
Bounder  of  Alnwick  Moor — Alnwick  a  Corporate  Town — Character  of 
the  Period       ........      83 

Digitized  by 




1296  TO  1309. 

Alnwick  Barony  given  in  Trust  to  Bek  for  William  De  Vescy  of  Kildare— 

Bek'B  Breach  of  this  TruBt— His  Life— William  De  Vescy^  of  Kildare— 

Conveyance  of  Alnwick  Barony  to  Henry  De  Percy — Inqmsitions— Atons 

—Character  of  the  Transfer  ......     106 

Descent  of  the  Percys— The  Lovaines — Henry,  First  Baron  Percy  of  Aln- 
wick— ^Military  "Career  in  Scotland — Oppontion  to  Edward  n. — Tomb  of 
His  Wife — Percy  Aims — Henry,  Second  Baron  Percy— Grant  of  Beanley 
—Scottish  Warfere— Alnwick  Castle  Besieged— Battle  of  Halidon  Hill- 
Grant  of  Jedburgh — Battle  of  Neville's  Cross— John  Coupland — Pla^e — 
Grant  of  Warkworth — Henry  Percy's  Will — Henry,  Third  Baron  Percy 
of  Alnwick — Character— Scottdsh  Warfare — Burnt  Candlemas — Wark- 
worth Hermitage        .......     110 

CASTLE,  TOWN,  AND  BARONY,  FROM  1297  TO  1368. 
Alnwick  Castle  Rebuilt — Inquisition  into  the  Property  of  the  Town  and 
Barony — Comparative  Values — Feudal  Charges — Did  Alnwick  Send 
Members  to  Parliament? — Condition  of  the  District — Holders  of  Property 
in  Alnwick — Middleton  Family — Roddam— Charter  of  Market  and  Fair 
^-Pontage — ^Trade  of  Town— Churches — Alnmouth  .  .     134 

His  Character— Engaged  in  the  French  Wars — Supports  Wycliffe— Created 
Earl— Border  Warfare— Hotspur— Battle    of   Otterbum— The    Percys 
rebel  against  Richard  II.  and  raise   Henry* IV.  to  the  Throne— Rich 
Rewards — Battle  of  Homildon  —Rebel  against  Henry  IV. — Cause  of  this 
Rebellion— Battle  of  Shrewsbury— Deatii  of  Hotspur- Earl  Pardoned — 
Rebels  Again— Northumbrian  Castles  Besieged— Earl  Slain  at  Bramham 
— Lucy  Eistat^ — Heraldry     ......     164 



Henry  Percy,  Second  Earl— Early  Life — Restored  to  His  Estates — Border 
Warfare — Alnwick  Burnt — Connected  with  Disturbance  in  Yorkshire — 
Defeat  at  Sark — French  Wars — Struggle  between  Houses  of  Lancaster 
and  York— Earl  Slain  at  St.  Albans— Character— Heraldry — Henry, 
Third  Earl— Early  Life— Baronies  of  Poynings,  Fitzpayne,  and  Brian — 
Succeeds  to  the  Earldom— Border  Warfare— Struggles  of  Ri'J-al  Houses- 
Slain  at  Towton— Extent  of  His  Estates— Attainted-  John  Neville,  Earl 
of  Northumberland— Striigprlcs  in  the  North— Alnwick  Castle  taken— 
Alnwick,  Bamburph,  and  Dunstanburgh  Castles  besieged — Battle  of 
Hedgeley  Cross— Bamburgh  Castle  taken— Sir  Ralph  Grey  Executed— 
Henry,  Fourth  Earl — Estates  and  Earldom  restored- Services  on  the 
Borders — Battle  of  Bosworth- Slain  at  Coxlodge — Burial — Heraldry — 
Will 176 

Digitized  by 



Fifth  Earl  Percy— His  Love  of  Display— Attends  Queen  Margaret's  Progress 
throngh  Northmnberland — Siege  of  Turwin— Standard  and  Pennon- 
Battle  of  Flodden— Earl's  Death— His  Character— Household  Book— 
Hmuldry— Henry  Algernon,  Sixth  Earl — In  Love  with  Anne  Boleyn — 
Arrests  Cardinal  Wolsey— Letter  Regarding  Anne  Boleyn— Raid  into 
Scotland— Seeks  to  be  Captain  of  Berwick— Sir  Thomas  Percy— Pilgrim- 
age of  Grace— Earl's  Death— Wresil  Castle— Leckinfield  Manor  House- 
Heraldry         200 



March  Laws—  Order  of  the  Watches— Ward  Musters- Defences  of  the  Border 
— Men  of  Alnwick  Mustered  at  Abberwick— Dacre's  Raid— Surrey, 
Warden— Raid  into  Teviotdale— Sir  William  Lyle's  Raids— Surrender 
and  Execution— Horrible  Forays— Lord  Parr  at  Alnwick— Euro's  Foray 
— The  Protector  Somerset  at  Alnwick — Letter  from  Alnwick  Castle — 
Ten  Towns  of  Glendale  Burnt— Book  of  the  Marches  .  .217 

THE  TOWN,  CASTLE,  AND  BARONY,  FROM  1360  TO  1600. 
License  to  Wall  the  Town—  Charter  of  Henry  VI. — Bondgate  Tower—  Clay- 
port  Tower— Streets — Population  of  the  Town-  Owners  of  Property — 
The  Greys— Old  Buildings— Names  of  the  Inhabitants,  1474 — Trade- 
Exports — Alnmouth  Port,  Burgages,  Church — Alnwick  Castle^Baronial 
Officers— Courts — Survey  of  Alnwick  in  1669 — Burgesses — Freeholders — 
Copyholders—  Feudal  Charges — Character  of  the  Copyholders — Wills — 
Melville  at  Alnwick— William  De  Alnwick,  Bishop  of  Lincoln       .     236 



Thomas,  the  Seyenth  Earl — A  Roman  Catholic — Restored  to  the  Barony— In 
Disgrace  and  Rebels— Alnwick  Castle  in  the  hands  of  Rebels— Taken  by 
Sir  John  Forster  -  Rebellion  Crushed — Earl  flees  to  Scotland — Betrayed 
and  Executed — Heraldry —Henry  the  Eighth  Earl— Becomes  Protestant 
"—Falls  under  Suspicion — Charged  with  Treason  and  Imprisoned — 
Shoots  himfdf— Henry,  the  Ninth  Earl— Joins  the  Fleet  against  the 
Armada— Exiiavagant — Unhappy  Marriage— Quarrel  with  Vere — 
Thomas  Percy  the  Conspirator — Earl  Convicted  of  Misprision  of  Treason 
—Fined  and  Imprisoned — HisLetters- Henry  the  Wizard  and  the  Three 
Magi — Released  and  retires  to  Potworth— Algernon,  the  Tenth  Earl^— 
Commander  of  the  Fleet — Connected  with  the  Parliamentary  Party 
during  the  Civil  War— Negotiates  for  Peace— Retires  to  Petworth- His 
Character— Josceline,  the  Eleventh  Earl— The  Last  of  His  Family- 
Character  of  the  Percy  Lovaines        .....    276 

SOMERSET  FAMILY— FROM  1670  TO  1750. 
Descent  of  the  Barony — Francis  Percy,  of  Cambridge— Evidences  of  His 
Descent-^James  Percy,  the  Trunk-Maker— Claim  to  be  Earl — Legal 
Proceedings — His  unsuccessful  Struggle—  Elizabeth  Percy— Her  Early 
Marriages — Her  Marriage  to  the  Duke  of  Somerset— His  Descent  and 
Character — Character  of  the  Duchess — Algernon,  Duke  of  Somerset  and 
Earl  of  Northumberland— His  Military  Service— His  Death— Distribu* 
tion  of  his  Estates— Cliaracter  of  the  Somersets       .  .  .     300 

Digitized  by 




FROM  1600  TO  1750. 
Government  of  the  Town— Public  Property— Trade —Brereton's  Vifiit  to 
Alnwick — Alnwick  during  the  Parliamentary  Struggle— Train  Bands — 
Ray  in  Alnwick  in  1661— Rawdon  in  1664— Kirke  in  1677— The  Castle— 
Corporation  Rejoicings— Rebellion  of  1716— Elarl  of  Derwentwater— The 
Rebellion  of  1746— Distribution  of  Property — A  Rental  of  the  Borough^ 
1709 .309 

Court  Baron  and  Court  Leet — Burgh  Court — Officers  Appointed  and  Cases 
Tried  in  Fifteenth  Century — Records  in  Seventeenth  Century — Scolds 
and  Slanders — State  of  the  Town— -The  Platrue — Sanitary  Measures — 
Admissions  of  Freeholders — Inquisitions  into  Heirships  and  Boundaries 
— Minutes  of  Surv^  and  Court — Officers  apx)ointed  in  Seventeenth 
Century — Knights'  Courts— Tenants  and  Vills  Bound  to  Appear — 
Admissions  of  Military  Tenants — Encroachment  on  Commons — Cases 
Tried — Patrick  Macklewyan — Decay  of  the  Baronial  Courts  .    336 


FROM  1750  TO  1866. 

Distribution  of  the  Somerset  Estates — Descent  of  Sir  Hugh  Smithson — Grant 
of  Arms — Married  to  Elizabeth  the  Percy  Heiress— Renovates  Alnwick 
Castle— Pennant's  Description  of  it— Improvements  around  Alnwick — 
Walpole's  Critique— Bout  Rhymes  by  the  Duchess — Hugh,  Second  Duke 
of  Northumberland — Service  in  America — Family  of  Burrell — The  Percy 
Tenantry  and  Column  —  Hospitality — Hugh,  Third  Duke— Rejoicings 
when  Married— His  Policy — Algernon,  Fourth  Duke— Service  in  the 
Navy — Foreign  Travels— Improvements— Restoration  of  Alnwick  Castle 
—Character— George,  Fifth  Duke     .  .  .  .  .353 





Vescy  Heraldry — Pedigrees  of  Tyson,  Vescy,  Aton,  Bek,  and  Percy      .    388 

Lord  of  Misrule— Waits— Horse-Racing — Bull-Baiting — Cock-Fighting — 
Shrovetide-  Keppie-Ball — Coban  Tree — Soulum — Bon-Fires— Carlings 
—The  Fairies  ........     422 


Markets —Fairs — Tolls— Bakehouses —  Brewhouse— Salt — Crosses — Shambles 
—Pillory— Stocks— Com  Exchange  .....     440 


Mills — Bridges — Roads — Pants — Correction  House         .  .  .     463 

Elections  in   1734  and   1748— Richard   Grieve— Election  in   1774— George 
Griovo  and  CoUingwood  Forster — Movements  during  the  French  Revolu- 
tion- Quopn  Caroline— Address  to  Earl  Grey — Reform  Meeting — Voting 
in  Alnwiik       ...  .....     473 

Digitized  by 



Plato  1,— Frontispiece,    Alnwick  from  the  South  West. 
•  VIbAjqII.— To  Face  Page  ^.    Pre-Roman  Antiquities  of  Alnwick. 

Fi^.     1. — Earthenware  Vessel  from  Sepulchral  Cist,  White  House, 
page  11. 
„      2. — Earthenware  Vessel  from  Cist,  HoUin^eugh,  p.  11. 
3. — Earthenware  Vessel  from  Cist,  White  House,  p.  12. 
4. — ^Earthenware  Vessel  from  Cist,  Moor  Lodge,  p.  11. 
5. — Bronze  Spear  Head,  p.  14. 
6. — Ornamented  Bronze  Implement,  p.  15. 
7.— Bronze  Socketed  Celt,  p.  14. 
8. — Leaf  Shaped  Bronze  Sword,  p.  14. 

9.— Flint  Arrow  Head  from  Sepulchral  Cist,  White  House,  p.  12. 
10.-StoneCclt,p.  13. 
11. — Standing  Stone,  p.  17. 
12. — Camp,  Alnwick  Moor,  p.  10. 
13. — Camp,  Brislaw,  p.  9. 
14. -Stone  Celt  Sharpened,  p.  13. 
'  Plate  m.— To  Fa<^  Fage  39.    Alnmouth  Saxon  Cross. 
.'  Plate  IV.— To  Face  Fage  97. 

Fig.  1. — Charter  of  William  De  Vesci  to  the  Burgesses  of  Alnwick. 
„  2. — Plan  of  Alnxvick  Castle  in  1650,  shewing  the  portions 
remaining  of  the  Norman  Era,  p.  85. — a.  Outer  Bailey,  b. 
Inner  Bailey,  c.  Inner  Ward.  a.  Remains  of  the  Norman 
Castle,  1.  Barbican.  2.Gkm*et.  3.Abbot'sTower.  4.  Armour- 
er's Tower.  5.  Falconer's  Tower.  6.  Postern  Tower.  7.  Con- 
stable's Tower.  8.  Kavine  Tower.  9.  Gkurdener's  Tower. 
10.  House  with  Horse-mill.  11.  Middle  Gateway,  formerly 
a  Porter's  Lodge  and  Strong  Prison.  12.  Chapel.  13. 
Auditor's  Tower.  14.  Stables.  15.  Comer  Tower.  16. 
Stables.  17.  Garret.  18.  Chequer  House.  19.  Conduit.  20. 
Keep  around  Inner  Ward.  See  from  Fage  253  to  256. 
'  Plate  v.— To  Face  Fage  85.    Portions  of  Alnwick  Castle. 

Fig.    1.— Arch  of  the  Norman  Keep,  erected  about  1140,  and  the 
Percy  Draw-well,  about  1320. 
„      2.— Octagon  Towers  of  the  Keep,  erected  about  1330. 
„      3. — Prudhoe  Tower,  erected  by  Algernon,  the  Fourth  Duke  of 
Northumberland,  1855. 
opiate  VI. -To  Face  Fage  367.    Alnwick  Castle  from  the  North,  from  a 

Photograph  by  George  Potter,  1865. 

>»'  Plate  Vn.— To  Face  Fage  241.    Chantry  House  of  St.  Mary  or   Alnwick 
Grammar  School,  erected  about  1450.    Bondgate  Tower, 
erected  about  1450. 
"Opiate  Vni.— To  Face  Fage  321.— Alnwick  Castle  in  1728,  from  a  Drawing  by 

<  Plate  IX.»7b  Face  Fage  377.    Isometrical  View  of  Alnwick  Castle,  1866, 
Drawn  by  F.  B.  Wilson,  Architect  Alnwiok. 

Digitized  by 



Page  16.— Gold  Penannulax  Ornament,  Ckraper's  Hill,  Alnmck;  Fig.  1, 
Perspective  View  shewing  the  Ornamented  Soiface;  Fig.  2, 
Profile  View. 

,,  22.— Fig.  3,  Side  View  of  Brachycephalic  Skull  from  Tosson  Cist ; 
Fig.  4,  View  of  the  Crown ;  Fig.  5,  Iron  Weapon  from  Tosson 

„      24.— Fig.    6,  Plan  of  Stone  Circle,  Three  Stone  Bum. 

„      25. — Fig.    7,  Characteristic  Forms  of  Northumbrian  Bock  Inscriptions. 

„      27.— Fig.    8,  Inscribed  Stone  at  Old  Bewick. 

„      31.— Fig.    9,  Roman  Altar,  Gloster  Hill. 

„  60.— Fig.  10,  Malcolm's  Cross,  with  remains  of  the  Old  Cross  in  the 

„      99.— Fig.  11,  Alnwick  Borough  Seal. 

„     104.— Fig.  12,  Base  of  a  Pillar  of  the  Old  Norman  Church  at  Alnwick. 

„     163. — Fig.  13,  Old  Percy  Arms — Beverley  Minster. 

„     161.— Fig.  14,  Otterbum  Battle  Stone. 

„     170.^Figs.  16  and  16,  Arms  of  Hotspur. 

„    176.— Fig.  17,  Shrievalty  Seal  of  the  First  Earl  of  Northumberland. 

„     182.— Fig.  18,  Seal  of  the  Second  Earl,  in  1436. 

„  183.— Figs.  19  and  20,  Signets  of  the  Countess  and  Earl  of  Northumber- 

„  188.— Fig.  21,  Crest— Poyninge;  Fig.  22,  Badge— Poynings ;  Fig.  23, 
Bfiidge — Fitz-Payne. 

„  199.— Fig.  24,  Badge  for  Herbert— a  Bascule,  Waikworth;  Fig.  25, 
Bascule  with  Crescent,  Beverley ;  Fig.  26.  Crescent  and  Locket, 
Beverley  Chapel;  Fig.  27.  Locket  between  the  Horns  of  a  Crescent. 

„  203.— Fi^.  28,  Gidehohne  or  Small  Standard  of  the  Fifth  Earl ;  Fig.  29, 
His  Pennoncelle. 

„     207.— Fig.  30,  Arms  of  the  Fifth  Earl. 

„     208— Fig.  31,  Signet  of  the  Fifth  Earl,  1616. 

„    214.— Fig.  32,  Standard  of  the  Sixth  Earl ;  Fig.  33,  His  Pennon. 

„    215.— Figs.  34,  35,  36,  His  Pennons ;  Figs.  37,  38,  His  Pennoncelles. 

„     216.— Fig.  39,  His  PennonceUe. 

„  248. — Fig.  40,  Heraldic  Design,  Crescent  with  Esperaunce,  Lion  Ramp- 
ant and  Crosiers,  on  a  house  in  Bondgate. 

„    264.— Fig.  41,  Barbican  of  Alnwick  Castle. 

„    276.— Percy  Crests. 

„    284.— Fig.  42,  Arms  and  Badge  of  the  Seventh  Earl. 

„    310.— Fig.  44,  Percy  Badges  on  Fonts  in  Ingram  and  Ainbam  Church. 

„  371.— Pennoncelles  of  Henry  Algernon  Percy,  Sixth  Earl  of  Northum- 

„    402.— Seal  of  the  first  William  de  Vesci 

„    403.— Seal  of  Eustace  de  VescL 

„    404. — Seals  of  Ames  de  Vesci 

„    406.— Seal  of  John  de  Veecy. 

„    412.— fieal  of  Bishop  Bek. 

„    414. — Old  Percy  Arms. 

„    416.— Shrievalty  Seal  of  the  First  Earl  of  Noxthumberland. 

„    416.— Hotspur's  Seal. 

„  417.— Arms  of  the  Fifth  Earl— Percy  Badge,  Crescent  and  Locket, 
temp,  Henry  VIII. 

„  421.— Badges— Fitz-Payne,  temp,  Eliz.;  Poynings,  1357;  Poynings, 

Digitized  by 



Page        1,  line  3,  /or  62«  21'  north  read  65"*  24'  40"  north. 
1«  42'  west  read  1*»  41'  40"  wert. 
„  6,    „  14  and  line  4  from  the  bottom /or  olxor  read  o/nor. 

„         31,    „     6,  for  Solinina  read  Solonina. 

40,    „  13,  for  AEDVIjFES  read 'EiADYLFEB, 
61,    „  21,  for  old  read  bold. 
148,    „     4,  for  Atticus  read  'MjIob  Lambert. 
»>      »     7,  /or  his  father  reeui  he. 

222,  „     9,  for  time  r<r<wf  some. 
))      M  J  2,  /or  there  read  these. 

223,  „    2  from  the  bottom  /or  Col.  read  Cal.,  and  /or  Foreigh  read 

310,    „  last,  for  in  fonts  r^arf  on  fonts. 
336,    „     9,  for  43s.  read  408. 

„      „    39,   for  offerators  read  afferators. 
363,    „    6,  for  1797  read  1792. 

Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 




anTTATioar  of  town  and  parish — phybioal    featubbs — ^dcpob^ 


Alnwick,  the  county  town  of  Northumberland,  is  pleasantly 
situated  on  the  south  bank  of  the  river  Aln,  in  latitude 
52®  2r  north,  and  in  longitude  1®  42'  west.  From  London 
it  is  distant,  north  by  west,  305  miles  by  the  old  coach  road, 
and  313  miles  by  railway.  Being  33  miles  north  of  New- 
castle and  30  miles  south  of  Berwick,  it  is  nearly  midway 
between  the  south  and  north  boundaries  of  the  county ;  from 
the  German  Ocean  on  the  east  it  is  4  miles,  and  from  the 
Tweed  at  Coldstream,  which  there  divides  England  from 
Scotland,  it  is  30  miles  distant.  The  North-Eastern  Rail- 
way passes  between  it  and  the  sea  at  the  distance  of  3  miles ; 
but  Alnwick  is  connected  with  this  trunk  line  by  a  branch, 
which  joins  it  at  Bilton.  London,  Edinburgh,  Newcastle, 
Berwick,  and  all  other  towns  diveiging  from  these  centres, 
are  therefore  accessible  from  Alnwick  by  railway  transit. 

The  town  forms  part  of  the  parish  of  Alnwick,  which 
anciently  was  partly  within  Bamburgh  Ward  and  partly 
within  Coquetdale  Ward,  but  which  since  1832  has  been 
entirely  included  in  the  East  Division  of  Coquetdale  Ward, 
for  the  purposes  of  petty  sessions.  The  parish  is  in  length 
from  north  to  south  about  8  miles,  and  in  breadth  from  east 


Digitized  by 



to  west  about  4}  miles ;  but  its  form  is  irregular,  and  the 
area  of  the  whole  is  15,884  acres.  It  is  bounded  on  the  east 
and  north-east  by  the  parishes  of  Longhoughton  and  Emble- 
ton,  on  the  south-east  by  Lesbury,  on  the  south  by  Shil- 
bottle  and  Felton,  on  the  west  by  Edlingham  and  Egling- 
ham,  and  on  the  north  by  the  new  parochial  district  of  South 
Charlton.  The  surface  presents  great  inequalities  of  eleva- 
tion ;  a  high  sandstone  ridge  ranging  through  the  county  in 
a  S.S.W.  direction,  forms  upland  moors  on  the  western  part, 
which  reach  to  a  height  of  808  feet  above  the  sea ;  Highfar- 
law  on  the  northern  boundary  is  about  460  feet  high ;  on  the 
east,  the  bold  and  lofty  cliff  of  Ratcheugh  Crag,  which  is 
896  feet  above  the  sea  level,  intervenes  between  Alnwick  and 
the  sea ;  more  level  ground  stretches  for  a  few  miles  south- 
ward, but  the  valley  in  which  Alnwick  lies,  is  bounded  in 
that  direction  by  the  high  hilly  grounds  of  Newton-on-the- 
Moor  and  Shilbottle,  which  reach  an  elevation  of  473  feet. 
The  river  Aln  crosses  the  parish  from  west  to  east,  running 
in  a  deep  valley,  generally  with  gently  sloping  sides,  but 
where  it  cuts  through  the  sandstone  ridge,  the  banks  are 
loftier,  more  rugged,  and  steep. 

The  town  and  castle  have  a  general  elevation  of  200  feet 
above  the  sea  level ;  some  streets  however,  as  Walkergate 
and  the  lower  part  of  Canongate,  are  but  little  above  the 
level  of  the  river.  Almost  encompassed  by  hills  of  greater 
or  less  elevation,  the  town  stands  on  a  situation  tolerably 

Though  now  an  unimportant  town  in  the  great  empire  of 
Britain,  with  a  population  of  only  7,350  in  the  parish,  with 
few  manufactures,  and  no  great  extent  of  trade,  the  history 
of  Alnwick  nevertheless  possesses  more  interest  than  its  pre- 
sent condition  would  lead  us  to  expect.  It  has  not  dimin- 
ished in  population,  or  gone  down,  like  some  old  boroughs, 
into  obscurity  and  utter  ruin;  but  it  has  lost  its  relative 
importance,  and  other  towns,  once  more  insignificant,  having 
caught  the  improving  spirit  of  modem  times,  have  utilised 
their  natural  resources,  and  become  the  centres  of  manu- 
facturing, mining,  and  commercial  industry.  Alnwick  derives 
its  interest  mainly,  therefore,  from  its  ancient  history ;  for 
when  several  of  our  great  towns  were  mere  villages  or  clusters 
of  huts  or  shealings,  Alnwick  was  a  walled  town,  and  en- 
joyed a  corporate  existence ;  battles  were  fought  before  its 
gates;  it  was  repeatedly  besieged  and  burnt;  kings  were 
slain  and  captured  within  sight  of  its  walls ;  monarchs  and 

Digitized  by 



generals  made  it  a  place  of  rendezvous  for  armies  and  nego* 
tiations;  warlike  barons,  wielding  power  little  less  than 
regal,  resided  within  its  great  castle,  ruled  their  vassals  and 
hatched  their  plots  against  their  sovereign,  or  devised  schemes 
for  public  liberty;  malefactors  were  executed  there,  and  grisly 
and  gory  heads  were  exhibited  over  its  gates ;  mitred  abbots 
and  cowled  monks  lived  hard  by,  and  dispensed  a  magnifi- 
cent hospitality  within  their  splendid  abbeys ;  and  in  later 
times,  the  commonalty  rising  out  of  feudal  bondage,  may  be 
seen  endowed  with  a  limited  amount  of  wealth  and  power^ 
now  debating  and  quarrelling  over  the  town's  affairs,  and 
now  enjoying  themselves  with  their  canary,  mulled  claret, 
and  music.  Old  customs  lingered  long  here ;  and  there  yet 
remains  somewhat  of  the  rac^  savour  of  olden  times  in  the 
tastes,  the  habits,  and  associations  of  the  inhabitants.  A 
scientific  gentleman  from  America  recently  strolled  through 
Alnwick,  examined  its  buildings  and  listened  to  accounts  of 
its  manners  and  customs ;  with  wonder  did  he  gaze  on  the 
great  Gothic  castle — ^intently  he  scrutinised  the  old  buildings 
as  he  passed  along — the  old  gateway — the  old  housed  with 
their  balconies  and  quaint  inscriptions — the  old  chantry — the 
old  church  I  nor  did  Saint  MichaePs  Pant,  with  the  archangel, 
the  guardian  of  the  town,  on  its  top  killing  the  dragon,  nor 
did  the  bull  ring,  nor  the  site  of  the  stocks  escape  his  notice; 
but  more  than  all,  when  the  curfew  bell  tolled  its  clear  notes 
in  the  evening,  from  the  Town  Hall  tower,  did  he  stop  and 
listen  with  a  delight  almost  childish.  He  felt,  indeed,  that 
his  brief  survey  of  Alnwick  gave  him  a  more  distinct  notion 
of  the  character  of  the  old  mother  country,  than  he  had 
gained  from  other  sources. 

Perhaps  the  natural  history  of  Alnwick  may  not  be  of  so 
much  special  interest ;  but  as  the  zoology,  the  botany,  and 
the  geology,  have  been  carefully  examined  during  several 
years,  the  observations  may  be  of  some  value  and  deserving 
of  record.  A  section  across  the  parish  from  the  Cheviots  to 
the  sea  shore,  will  exhibit  almost  every  kind  of  igneous  and 
stratified  rock  occurring  within  the  county,  and  therefore  a 
description  of  that  section — of  its  mineral  characters,  of  its 
physical  conditions,  of  its  organic  contents,  of  its  economic 
uses — ^will  present  an  epitome  of  the  geology  of  Northumber- 
land. Something  there  may  be  then  in  the  history  of  Aln- 
wick, to  instruct  and  please  even  those  who  live  beyond  its 

Digitized  by 

Google         A 



Though  Alnwick  may  boast  of  a  respectable  antiquity^  yet 
of  its  existence  as  a  tovm  before  the  Norman  Conquest,  there 
is  no  documentary  evidence.  The  name  does  not  occur  in 
Gildas,  Beda,  Nennius,  the  Saxon  chronicle^  or  indeed  in 
any  pre-Norman  charter  or  history.  In  old  histories  and 
documents,  subsequent  to  that  period,  the  name  is  written  in 
various  forms,  as  appears  in  the  foUovfing  list  :— 

Ahiawio— Bichard  of  Hexham,  12th  century. 

Ahiewyk — ^In  charters  and  inquisitioiis  of  the  12th,  13th,  and 

14th  centuries — Bromton — liber  Niger — ^Act  to  embattile  the 

town,  1434. 
Alnewyc — Charters  12ih  and  13th  centuries. 
Alnewyke — Inquisitions  and  charters  13ih  aud  14th  centuries — 

Chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey. 
Alnewicke — Inquisitions  13th  and   14th  centuries — Petition  of 

Burgesses,  1650. 
Alnewik — Kn;f^hton,  14th  century — Lord  Hertford,  1669. 
Alnewich — ^WiUiam  of  Newberry,  12th  century. 
Alnewike—  Borough  SeaL 
Aunewike— Bot  l2t  Pat,  1213. 
Aunwyk— Pipe  Boll,  1282. 
Aunewic — Testa  de  Neville. 
Awnewyke— Earl  of  Northumberland,  1528. 
Anwik — Earl  of  Northumberland,  1613. 
Anwick — Heraldic  Visitation,  circa,  1600. 

The  spelling  is  arbitrary ;  but  all  the  forms  excepting  the 
six  last,  are  essentially'the  same  as  the  modem  ^'  Alnwick." 

Digitized  by 



Mr.  Ralph  Carr  of  Hedgeley^  one  of  our  ablest  etymologists, 
considers  that  the  old  name  would  be  in  three  syllables, 
Al-na-wick ;  and  this  form  indeed,  is  given  by  Richard  of 
Hexham^  one  of  the  earliest  northern  historians.  At  present 
howeyer,  the  name  is  pronounced  Annick  by  all  the  native 
inhabitants  of  the  town ;  and  indeed,  as  early  as  the  13th 
century,  the  pronunciation  seems  to  have  been  similar  to  the 
broad  nasal  sound  by  Scotsmen,  though  in  three  syllables-^ 
Au-ne-foicke.  Obviously  Alnwick  is  compounded  of  Aln, 
the  name  of  the  river  on  which  the  town  stands,  and  of  wick, 
the  Anglo-Saxon  for  a  street,  village,  or  dwelling  place ;  but 
this  latter  element  is  one  of  those  peculiar  terms,  which 
evidence  the  affinity  and  common  origin  of  several  different 
languages ;  for  it  appears  in  the  Greek,  ^^**  in  the  Latin, 
vicus,  in  the  Sanscrit,  vie,  and  it  has  been  traced  in 
other  Indo-European  tongues.  Aln,  like  the  names  of 
our  rivers,  hills,  and  mountains,  is  Celtic  or  Ancient  British, 
and  was  given  by  one  of  the  earliest  tribes  settling  in 
Britain ;  for  in  the  Hibernico-Celtic  we  have  Alain,  signi- 
fying white,  bright,  or  clear.  Alnwick  therefore  is  the  town 
on  the  bright  clear  river.  In  one  form  or  other,  Aln  is 
not  an  uncommon  name  of  rivers.  We  have  Altoyn  a 
tributary  of  the  Coquet,  and  AUan  flowing  into  the  South 
Tyne ;  and  the  same  name  appears  in  Roxburghshire,  in  the 
Lothians,  in  other  parts  of  Scotland,  and  also  in  Ireland. 
Westward  of  the  town,  the  Aln  is  commonly  spoken  of  as  the 
Ale-toaier,  and  sometimes  as  the  Yell.  Alnham  near  its 
source  is  called  Ale-dam,  and  occasionally  YeU-dom;  and 
Alnmouth,  pronounced  Alemouth,  is  not  unfrequently  called 

Another  name  is  applied  to  Alnwick  in  a  chronicle  of  the 
Priory  of  St.  Andrews— one  of  the  most  ancient  and  authentic 
of  Scottish  records — ^which  states  that  Malcolm,  son  of  Dun- 
can, was  slain  at  Inner-alden,  The  name  of  the  river  is 
recognisable;  but  t^tner,  which  comes  from  the  Gaelic  inbhear, 
denotes  the  mouth  of  a  river,  and  would  rather  apply  to 
Alnmouth ;  but  as  it  is  pretty  certain  that  Malcolm  fell  near 
Alnwick^  the  chronicler,  as  Professor  Simpson  supposes,!  may 

•  I  am  indebted^to  my  young  friend  Mr.  Robert  Busby  for  this  note—"  The 
Greek  Wmt  anciently  had  the  diagamma,  which  is  supposed  to  possess  the 
power  of  a  W ;  and  this  makes  the  analogy  between  the  Greek  word  and  the 
Saxon  wkk  stronger," 

f  Dr.  Simpson's  Cat-Stane,  p.  25. 

Digitized  by 



have  erred  for  want  of  proper  local  knowledge.  Fordun, 
when  relating  the  same  event,  gives  Murealden,  as  a  synonym 
— ^^^Castrum  de  Alynewick,  sive  Murealden,  quod  idem  est;"* 
and  this  may  be  descriptive  of  the  wild  moorish  condition  of 
the  district  around  Alnwick  at  that  period. 

When  the  far  reaching  ambition  of  Caesar  made  Britain 
known  to  the  civilized  world,  it  was  peopled  by  the  Celtic 
race,  who,  migrating  many  centuries  before  from  the  east, 
had  passed  by  successive  population-waves  into  the  British 
Islands.  From  a  careful  and  extensive  comparison  of  the 
old  names  of  rivers,  mountains,  and  other  great  natural 
objects  in  all  thej^e  inlands,  it  has  been  proved,  that  the 
language  of  the  whole  was  essentially  the  same ;  but  that 
different  tribes  had  their  own  dialectic  peculiarities.  The 
distribution  of  the  same  peculiar  sjrmbolical  sculptures  over 
the  British  Islands  corroborates  the  conclusion.  Though  of 
a  common  origin,  the  clans  or  tribes  were  numerous,  and  to 
a  great  extent  independent  of  each  other.  While  the  southern 
part  of  England  was  occupied  by  the  Belgae,  the  most  civilized 
tribe,  the  north  was  peopled  bv  the  rude  and  warlike  Bxig- 
antes ;  and  these  were  divided  into  several  distinct  branches ; 
Gadeni  dwelt  in  the  western  part  of  Northumberland  and  in 
Koxburghshire ;  but  the  eastern  part  of  Northumberland 
and  Berwickshire  were  occupied  by  the  Otadeni ;  and  to  this 
tribe  belonged  the  people,  who,  for  many  generations  prior 
to  the  Christian  era,  dwelt  in  the  valley  of  the  Aln.  Of  this 
primitive  race  there  are  few  written  records ;  and  what  we 
do  know  of  them  has  been  gathered,  not  so  much  from  books 
or  manuscripts,  as  from  their  sepulchres,  their  ruined  forts 
and  dwellings,  and  from  their  language,  either  at  intermingled 
in  our  common  speech,  or  impressed  as  it  were  upon  our 
rivers,  mountains,  hills,  and  other  great  objects  in  nature. 

It  is  remarkable  how  many  remains  there  are  of  this  Pre- 
Koman  period  even  within  the  limits  of  Alnwick  parish — 
there  are  forts,  traces  of  dwellings,  barrows  and  sepulchres, 
urns,  stone  and  bronze  weapons  and  instruments,  golden  and 
other  ornaments,  which  though  telhng  us  nothing  of  the 
names  of  individual  chiefs  or  of  particular  events,  yet  raise 
up  the  general  form  and  character  of  evanished  tribes  and 
peoples.  Of  these  various  remains  I  shall  give  an  account. 
It  may  be  premised,  that  almost  all  earthworks  in  the  district, 
were  at  one  period,  without  discrimination,  referred  to  Danish 

*  Forduni  Scotichronicon. 

Digitized  by 



origin.  One  principle  of  easy  application  seems  to  have 
guided  a  certain  class  of  antiquaries  in  their  exposition  of 
early  remains — ^whatever  was  rude  was  Danish^  and  what- 
ever shewed  marks  of  skill  and  art  was  Roman.  A  more 
critical  age  cannot  adopt  this  crude  method.  As  the  geolo* 
gist  examines  the  fossil  contents  of  a  rock  to  determine  its 
age  and  ascertain  its  history^  so  must  the  antiquary  dig  into 
fortlets^  dwellings,  and  barrows,  and  by  the  relics  he  finds^ 
and  the  structural  peculiarities  he  observes,  determine  their 
age  and  read  the  character  and  history  of  ,the  people  who 
erected  them.  Excavations  have  recently  been  maide  into 
old  antiquities  in  the  valley  of  the  Breamish,  and  on  and 
around  Yevering  Bell;  and  the  facts,  which  the  spade  and 
pick-axe  have  revealed  in  these  places,  will  be  useful  guides 
in  our  examination  of  those  which  have  not  yet  been  ex- 
plored in  a  similar  manner. 


To  determine  in  all  cases  with  certainty  the  age  of  camps 
is  impossible,  on  account  of  their  imperfect  condition ;  but 
as  a  general  rule  it  may  be  laid  down,  that  camps  or  fortlets 
of  a  rounded  form,  and  associated  with  small  circular  founda- 
tions of  hut  dwellings,  and  not  far  distant  from  barrows 
containing  Ancient  British  relics,  may  without  much  doubt 
be  referred  to  the  Ancient  British  period.  Supplementary 
defences  either  on  one,  or  on  two  opposite  sides,  enclosing 
small  crescent  shaped  areas,  are  also  I  think  characteristic 
of  the  same  age. 

A  remarkable  group  of  antiquities  is  clus- 
HiGHFABLAW.  tcred  on  the  high  grounds  sloping  southward 
from  the  summit  of  Highfarlaw,  three  miles 
north  of  Alnwick.  Besides  the  mediaeval  tower,  there  are 
three  camps,  and  there  existed  some  years  ago,  a  barrow  and 
traces  of  hut  dwellings.  On  the  crest  of  the  hiH  is  a  strong- 
hold, now  overgrown  with  trees  which  form  an  ornamental 
clump ;  it  has  two  rampiers*  with  a  ditch  between  them,  and 
is  of  an  oval  shape,  in  diameter  from  north  to  south  sixty 
yards,  and  from  east  to  west  seventy-one  yards;  the  area 
enclosed  is  about  four-fifths  of  an  acre.  The  rampart  on  the 
south  side  appears  to  have  been  regularly  built  with  large 
stones.    Entrances  or  gateways  are  on  the  east  and  west 

•  The  tenn  rampier  I  apply  to  a  lude  wall  fiDrmed  of  earth  and  stonei. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


sides,  nine  feet  in  width.  The  interior  is  divided  by  other 
rampiers  into  several  compartments ;  three  large  enclosures 
are  traceable,  and  the  remains  of  several  sm^ler  ones  are 
visible,  which  most  probably  had  been  circular  hut  dwellings. 
The  position  is  commanding ;  the  great  hills  of  the  district 
are  seen  from  it — ^the  Cheviots,  Ros  Castle,  Alnwick  Moor, 
and  Shilbottle  Law ;  and  along  the  coast  the  view  ranges  a . 
distance  of  thirty  miles. 

Another  camp  there  was,  only  two  or  three  hundred  yards 
to  the  southward,  on  the  slope  of  the  hill  in  a  field  called  the 
*'  Camp  Field.''  This  was  large,  enclosing  an  area  of  nearly 
two  acres;  there  was  but  one  rampier,  which  however,  is 
now  almost  obliterated,  the  field  halving  for  several  years 
been  under  cultivation. 

To  the  eastward  of  the  Holywell  camp,  not  more  than  one 
hundred  yards,  a  rude  flagged  floor  was  exposed  a  few  years 
ago  by  tne  plough,  one  foot  below  the  surface.  The  flags 
were  of  unhewn  sandstone,  and  were  roughly  fitted  in  to 
each  other,  forming  a  circle  of  thirteen  feet  in  diameter. 
From  better  preserved  remains  of  a  similar  kind  among  the 
Cheviots,  we  are  able  to  determine  this  to  have  been  the  floor 
of  an  Ancient  British  hut ;  the  fire  had  been  in  the  centre, 
for  after  having  been  quenched  for  many  centuries,  the  ashes 
were  found  on  the  blackened  hearth-stone. 

At  a  short  distance,  west-south-west  of  this  camp,  a  barrow 
or  small  artificial  hill  formed  of  earth  and  stones,  covered  an 
ancient  interment.  This  was  removed  forty  years  ago,  and 
beneath  it,  an  urn,  such  as  occurs  in  Ancient  British  graves, 
was  found  placed  within  a  circle  of  stones. 

The  association  of  these  camps  with  the  Ancient  British 
barrow  and  the  hut  floor,  enables  us  to  determine  pretty 
certainly,  that  Highfarlaw  was  the  site  of  an  Ancient  British 

Lower  down  the  same  hill,  about  a  mile 
Chesters.  southward,  yet  stiU  upon  high  ground,  over- 
looking the  valley  of  the  Aln,  is  the  camp  of 
Black  Chesters,  wluch  is  now  overgrown  with  trees.  It  is 
of  a  circular  form  and  strongly  fortified  bjr  two  rampiers  and 
a  deep  ditch.  The  circumference  of  the  inner  circle  is  180 
yards,  and  of  the  outer  880  yards,  the  area  of  the  whole  being 
near  to  two  acres.  The  entrance  is  obscure,  and  appears  to 
have  been  on  the  east.  A  small  iron  ball  was  found  a  few 
years  ago,  among  stones  on  the  surface ;  but  this  could  not 
belong  to  the  period  when  the  camp  was  made ;  it  may  have 

Digitized  by 



•'  •'-:';;'"• ^;:/ 




i^.i  T^ 

Digitized  by  VrrOOQlC ' 

Digitized  by 



been  left  when  the  Scottish  armies  passed  through  the  county 
in  the  17  th  century. 

Near  Brislaw  there  are  two  camps;  one  on  the 
Brislaw.*  western  slope  of  the  high  rugged  sandstone  hill 
on  which  Brislaw  Tower  stands,  about  half-a-mile 
eastward  of  Moor-laws.  This  is  circular,  and  has  only  one 
rampier,  with  a  ditch  outside,  the  circumference  being  190 
yards.  There  are  two  entrances,  one  on  the  north  and  the 
other  on  the  west  side.  A  hollow  way  proceeds  from  it  down 
the  hill,  similar  to  the  roads  connected  with  other  Ancient 
British  fortlets— P/a^«  U.,fig,  13. 

Distant  from  this  about  half-a-mile  N.N.W.,  is  the  other 
camp  on  Catheugh,  lower  and  more  level  ground,  by  the  side 
of  a  little  bum,  whose  steep  banks  add  to  the  defences  of  the 
stronghold.  It  is  much  obscured  by  trees  and  the  rank 
growth  of  underwood  with  which  it  is  covered ;  part  of  it 
has  been  destroyed  near  the  burn  for  the  sake  of  a  road,  so 
that  what  remains  is  only  the  segment  of  a  circle.  The  place 
had  been  very  strong,  for  there  are  two  rampieis  and  two 
ditches;  and  even  now,  after  the  destructive  influence  of 
many  centuries,  the  rampier  remains  in  some  parts  as  high 
as  fifteen  feet.     Entrances  appear  on  the  north-east  side. 

The  remains  of  a  camp  are  traceable  on 
Stoney  Hills.  Camp-hill  on  the  Swansfield  estate,  near 
the  edge  of  Alnwick  Moor,  less  than  a  mile 
south-westward  of  the  town.  It  is  much  obliterated,  except- 
ing on  the  south  side ;  the  form  is  oval,  being  120  yards 
in  diameter  from  east  to  west,  and  104  yards  from  north 
to  south.  There  is  little  to  mark  it  except  its  rounded 

On  Rugley  Moor-house  farm,  there  was  a  camp; 
BuoLET.  but  now  owing  to  cultivation,  it  is  barely  traceable. 
It  was  of  a  squarish  form,  rounded  at  the  corners, 
and  contained  an  area  of  one  acre  and  one-eighth  ;  it  had  a 
rampier  and  a  ditch.  Close  to  it,  but  on  the  outside  of  the 
wall,  an  ancient  quern  or  hand-mUl  was  found.  Such  primi- 
tive mills  for* grinding  corn  are  not  uncommon  in  and  near 
forts  and  dwellings  of  the  Ancient  British  people  ;  we 
have  found  them  in  the  Celtic  town  of  Greaves  Ash,  in  the 

*  "  Brislaw,  in  Holn  Park,  a  very  lofty  eminence  commanding  the  whole 
district  about  it,  is  vulgarly  called  BrUieff,  as  if  it  were  mere  ordinary  lea-land;** 
R.  Can  OQ  Composite  Names  of  Places ;  Trans,  of  Tyneside  Club,  YoU  I., 
p.  84i.  Law  from  the  Anglo-Saxon  Maw  is  applied  to  a  hill,  generally  high 
and  oonieal. 

Digitized  by 



Chesters  camp  on  the  Breamish,  and  even  within  the  great 
fort  on  the  summit  of  Yevering  Bell. 

One  other  camp  remains  to  be  noticed, 
Alnwick  Moor,    which  is  situated  on  Alnwick  Outer  Moor, 

little  more  than  two  miles  westward  of 
the  town,  on  the  slope  of  the  hill.  Though  small,  the  in- 
terior area  not  exceeding  half-an-acre,  this  is  an  interesting 
camp,  as  some  portions  are  in  good  preservation,  and  its  form 
and  arrangements  are  easily  seen.  The  form  is  rounded ; 
and  it  has  two  rampiers  and  a  ditch,  with  an  entrance  on  the 
south-east.  This  has  been  pronounced  a  Danish  camp ;  but 
without  any  evidence  or  even  probability.  Its  external 
characters  are  similar  to  Ancient  British  camps — Plate  IL, 
Jiff.  12. 


Besides  the  barrow  at  Holywell  already 
Alnwick  Moor,    referred  to,  others  have  been  observed  in 

the  parish.  Perhaps  the  most  interesting 
are  two,  which  have  been  opened  near  to  each  other,  probably 
part  of  a  group,  on  the  hill  side  northward  of  Alnwick  Moor 
Burn,  and  near  to  the  Forest  Lodge.  One  of  them  in  Aln- 
wick Moor  was  discovered  in  1820,  and  a  cist-vaen  *  was 
exposed,  made  of  slaty  sandstone  slabs,  and  within  it  was  an 
entire  skeleton  doubled  up,  with  the  head  laid  to  the  south- 
west. The  other,  only  about  fifty  yards  distant,  is  within 
the  park,  and  was  exposed  in  1861,  while  excavations  were 
made  along  the  hill  side  for  a  new  road.  Three  feet  below 
the  surface  a  cist-vaen  was  found,  which  was  covered  over 
with  stones  of  various  kinds  and  sizes,  piled  up  above  the 
interment  to  form  a  barrow  or  little  hill,  but  which,  through 
the  lapse  of  time  and  other  causes,  had  been  reduced  almost 
to  the  ordinary  level  of  the  ground.  The  cist-vaen  was 
placed  in  a  fine  sand  overlying  the  boulder  clay ;  it  is  formed 
of  slabs  of  a  slaty  sandstone  common  in  the  district,  set  on 
edge  so  as  to  form  a  small  coffin  17  inches  in  depth,  3  feet 
Scinches  long  on  the  north  side,  and  3  feet  9J  inches  on  the 
south  side ;  and  in  breadth  2  feet  3  inches.  A  flag  lay  at 
the  bottom,  and  the  top  was  entirely  covered  by  a  large  slab. 
This  cist  is  a  good  type  of  the  stone  coffins  in  which  the 
Ancient  British  people  interred  their  dead  and  placed  memo- 
rials of  their  lost  friends.  No  bones  nor  evidences  of  burning 
were  discovered ;  but  within  the  cist  was  placed  a  fine  urn 
or  earthenware  vessel,  of  a  simple  bowl  shape,  6  inches  in 

*  Stone  chest  or  etone  coffin. 

Digitized  by 




height  and  7|  inehes  in  dianiieter  at  the  top — Plate  IL^fig.  4. 
Zigzag  lines  are  incised  on  the  rim^  a  mode  of  ornamentrog 
characteristic  of  Celtic  fictile  art ;  but  the  body  of  the  urn 
was  incised  with  figures  of  an  uncommon  description^  con- 
sisting of  lozenge  forms  arranged  in  a  kind  of  quincunx. 
Urns  of  the  same  bowl  shape  have  been  obtained  from  sim^ai^ 
sepulchres  at  Chatton  and  Wandylaw — that  firom  the  latter 
being  beautifully  ornamented^  and  associated  with  an  entire 
skeleton  and  a  flint  arrow  head.  Probably  the  Forest  Lodge 
sepulchre  also  contained  a  corpse  which^  through  the  access 
of  water  and  air,  may  have  been  entirely  decomposed. 

On  the  ridge  of  a  field  called  Willow  Close, 

Si70LEY.    west  of  Bugley  Moor-house,  a  barrow  was  opened 

which  covered  a  cist-vaen,  similar  to  that  already 

described,  and  in  this  was  found  a  bead  of  a  yellow  colour, 

which  appeared  to  be  amber. 

In  a  field  not  far  from  the  limestone 
Denwick  Lane,    quarry,  a  cist-vaen  was  exposed  by  the 

plough;  in  which  there  was  a  skeleton 
with  the  body  bent  and  the  face  looking  upward ;  the  hair 
was  still  in  preservation,  lying  beneath  the  head  '^  like  a 
bird's  nest;''  along  with  this  interment  was  an  urn  of  the 
ordinary  Celtic  character.  In  a  field  not  far  distant,  another 
cist-vaen  was  found,  but  it  contained  no  relics. 

In  the  northern  part  of  the  parish,  from 
HoLLiNGHEUGH.    White  House  Folly  down  the  hill  towards 

the  river  there  had  been  many  interments. 
On  high  ground  called  Hollingheugh  there  was  a  cairn, 
which  was  removed  in  18M,  and  beneath  it  was  a  cist-vaen 
containing  an  urn  or  vase  of  peculiar  character ;  for  besides 
being  ornamented  with  zigzag  scorines,  it  had  four  projecting 
kno^,  which  are  interesting,  as  eany  and  rude  attempts  to 
fiumish  vessels  with  handles — Plate  IL,fig.  2. 

On  the  White  House  grounds,  now  form- 
Whitb  HotJSE.  ing  the  north-west  comer  of  Holn*  Park, 
three  other  sepulchres  have  been  discovered. 
One  was  opened  in  1818  and  contained  a  skeleton,  by  the 
side  of  which  stood  an  elegant  shaped  drinking  cup,  covered 
with  zigzag  scorings ;  it  is  said  to  have  contained  ashes — 
Plate  ILyfig,  1.  This  is  the  shape  most  usually  met  with 
in  Ancient  British  interments  in  North  Northumberland; 
elegant  in  form  and  in  ornamentation,  they  exhibit  no  small 

*  The  Dame  is  thai  spelt  in  early  charters. 

Digitized  by 



degree  of  artistic  taste.  Another  dst-yaen  in  this  locality 
was  found  in  1833 ;  but  of  this  we  have  no  definite  informa- 
tion j  beyond  the  fact  that  the  direction  of  the  grave  was  from 
north  to  south.  Of  the  third  sepulchre,  however,  which  was 
opened  in  1863,  we  have  more  particular  knowledge.  The 
dst-vaen  was  as  usual  formed  of  sandstone  slabs,  the  length 
being  2  feet  9  inches,  the  width  1  foot  10  inches,  and  the 
direction  from  N.E.  to  S.W. ;  within  was  laid  a  skeleton  with 
the  head  towards  the  south-west  end,  the  body  bent,  the 
knees  being  drawn  up  towards  the  head ;  and  nearly  in  the 
centre  stood  an  urn  or  vase,  which  is  5  inches  in  height,  with 
four  knobs  at  the  side,  and  ornamented  with  characteristic 
zigzag  scorings — Plate  ILyfig,  3.  The  skeleton  was  that  of 
a  young  person,  about  12  years  of  age ;  for  the  temporary 
canine  teeth  had  disappeared,  and  the  permanent  canine 
teeth  were  making  their  appearance;  while  also  the 
sutures  of  the  skull  were  very  distinct.  Unfortunately  the 
cranium  was  broken  and  incomplete ;  but  so  much  remained 
as  to  admit  of  its  general  characters  being  determined ;  it 
was  a  short,  broad,  and  compact  head;  the  longitudinal 
diameter  being  6*3  inches  and  the  parietal  diameter  5  inches, 
giving  a  proportion  of  nearly  10  to  8,  which  marks  the 
cranium  of  the  Brachy-cephalic  type.  The  form  is  well 
rounded,  but  there  is  a  peculiar  flattening  from  the  occipital 
protuberance  to  the  foramen  magnum,  probably  due  to  arti- 
ficial compression ;  for  Dr.  Barnard  Davis,  the  distinguished 
author  of  the  '^  Crania  Britannica,''  has  shewn  that  some 
ancient  tribes  modified  by  artificial  means  the  natural  form 
of  the  skull.  Even  now  some  of  the  American  Indians 
distort  the  heads  of  their  children  by  the  use  of  a  cradle  board. 
Singular  is  it,  that  in  the  sepulchre  of  so  young  a  person, 
there  was  a  rude  flint  arrow  head  about  one  inch  in  length, 
and  of  the  same  character  as  one  found  in  a  similar  interment 
at  Wandylaw — Plate  IL,  jig,  9.*  Other  vases  of  the  same 
kind  from  the  district,  preserved  in  the  Alnwick  Castle 
Museum,  shew  a  gradual  advance  in  Ancient  British  fictile 
art ;  one  from  Warkworth  has,  in  place  of  mere  knobs,  small 
but  well  shaped  perforated  handles. 

About  twenty  years  ago,  another  interment  was  discovered 
in  the  Parks,  within  a  plantation  cresting  the  hill  to  the 
westward  of  Holn  Abbey ;  this  also  contained  a  skeleton, 
which,  however,  has  not  been  preserved. 

*  F\g,  14  in  PlaU  IL  ii  the  sharpened  stone  celt  icferred  to  in  page  IS. 

Digitized  by 



A  few  Other  relics  belonging  to  the  Celtic  period  have  been 
found  in  the  parish  of  Alnwick. 


To  instmments  made  of  stone  with  sharp  edges  at  one 
or  both  ends,  the  name  celt  has  been  applied,  which  in 
the  Cambro-Celtic,  means  a  flint  stone.  One  of  these 
was  discovered  in  1862  by  Mr.  George  Armstrong,  one  foot 
below  the  surface,  while  cutting  through  a  hill  on  the 
south  side  of  the  road  between  Alnwick  and  Denwick, 
nearly  opposite  to  the  spot  on  which  old  Denwick  cross 
stands.  It  is  well  made  and  quite  smooth,  and  more 
artistically  finished  than  the  rudely  chipped  flint  weapons 
of  Abbeville ;  it  is  somewhat  broken  at  the  ends,  but  when 
perfect  would  be  7  inches  long,  and  2  inches  wide  at  the  one 
end  and  one  inch  at  the  other ;  the  sides  are  blunt,  but  like 
other  celts  of  similar  character,  it  was  sharp  at  both  ends ;  it 
is  made  of  a  dark  grey  metamorphic  shale,  hard  enough  to 
scratch  glass — Plate  ILy  Jiff.  10.  Three  other  stone  celts  I 
have,  which  were  found  in  fields  near  the  borders  of  the 
parish.  All  are  similar  in  shape,  and  formed  of  indurated 
slate ;  two  of  them  are  4  inches  and  the  other  6  inches  long. 
One  of  them  is  especially  interesting,  because  shewing  an 
alteration  from  its  original  form  by  being  repeatedly  sharp- 
ened. These  are  small  in  size  compared  with  another 
from  the  valley  of  the  Reed,  which  is  nearly  12  inches  long 
and  finely  finished.  Such  instruments  were  used  as  chisels 
or  wedges,  to  cut  or  split  wood  and  other  substances  softer 
than  themselves ;  and  they  have  even  been  found  inserted  like 
a  wedge,  into  cavities  of  large  stones ;  but  as  weapons  also 
they  would  be  formidable,  especially  those  of  a  large  size, 
fastened  like  an  axe  at  the  head  of  a  pole.  Flint  arrow  heads, 
as  we  have  seen,  also  occur. 


Gale  has  given  an  account  of  bronze  weapons  and  tools 
found  in  1726  within  the  Old  Park,  about  a  mile  north- 
west of  Alnwick.  A  mason  was  clearing  away  the  earth 
from  a  sandstone  rock,  in  order  to  obtain  building  stones, 
when,  at  the  depth  of  18  inches,  he  found  lying  upon  the 
rock  twenty  bronze  swords  and  sixteen  spear  heads;  and 
near  to  these,  only  a  foot  further  down  the  hill,  forty-two 
bronze  instruments  usually  called  celts.  Fortunately  some 
of  these  relics  were  obtained  by  Gale,  otherwise  we  should 
have  known  nothing  of  them,  for  the  remainder  were  seized 

Digitized  by 



by  the  Steward  of  the  Lord  of  the  Manor,  and  they  were 
never  afterwards  seen.  The  swords  were  leaf-shaped  and 
only  18  inches  long  in  the  blade,  double  edged  and  pointed, 
being  more  adapted  for  thrusting  than  cutting.  The  handles 
were  remarkably  small,  being  usually  only  8  inches  in  length, 
and  indicating  that  the  race  who  wielded  these  weapons  had 
small  hands — Plate  IL,  fig,  8.  The  spear  heads  had  a 
socket  for  the  insertion  of  a  wooden  pole ;  some  were  long 
and  narrow,  with  a  small  wing  or  flange  on  each  side — Plate 
ILy  fig.  5 ;  but  in  others,  the  flange  was  wider  and  cut 
through  or  eyed,  a  form  common  in  Scotland  and  Ireland, 
but  rare  in  England.  Similar  swords  and  spear  heads  were 
found  in  a  bog  at  Thrunton,  near  Whittingham,  in  this 
county  in  1847 ;  and  three  of  the  bronze  leaf-shaped  swords 
were  discovered  in  1857,near  toa  Celtic  fortleton  Brandon  hill. 

The  celts  or  chisels,  as  they  are  sometimes  called — Plate 
ILyfig,  7 — have  one  end  with  a  broad  sharp  edge,  and  the 
other  is  narrower  and  thicker,  and  hollowed  so  as  to  admit  a 
wooden  shaft ;  they  have  a  loop  or  ear  attached  to  one  side. 
Such  instruments,  the  most  common  of  bronze  relics,  were 
cast  in  stone  moulds;  one  of  these  moulds  found  near  Wal- 
lington,  is  in  the  Museum  of  Sir  Walter  Trevelyan,  Bart. 
There  was  great  difference  in  the  shape  and  artistic  finish  of 
these  celts,  from  the  simple  form  of  a  stone  celt  to  those 
complicated  with  flanges,  sockets,  loops,  and  mouldings. 
Though  they  may  have  been  applied  to  warlike  purposes, 
yet  I  think  they  were  chiefly  used  as  chisels  or  wedges. 

The  number  of  the  bronze  relics  found  in  the  "Old  Park" 
is  remarkable ;  and  the  association  of  the  celts  with  the  other 
weapons,  aids  in  determining  the  age  of  the  leaf-shaped 
swords,  regarding  which  there  has  been  considerable  contro- 
versy. As  these  swords  are  of  a  graceful  shape,  beautifully 
finished,  and  well  tempered,  they  must,  according  to  some, 
have  been  the  production  of  Roman  art.  Here  however, 
they  have  been  found  with  celts,  which  without  any  doubt 
may  be  referred  to  the  Ancient  British  people.  Bronze 
weapons  moreover,  are  not  known  to  have  been  used  by  the 
Bomans  when  they  conquered  Britain,  nor  do  we  find  any 
types  among  the  weapons  or  instruments  of  the  Romans 
corresponding  with  these  bronze  relics ;  while  on  the  other 
hand,   the    presence    of   bronze    da^ers*  and   sometimes 

*  At  North  Cbwlton  « l>ro]i£e  dagger  wu  in  one  of  theie  gntTes  along  with  a 
glass  bead. 

Digitized  by 



bronze  swords  in  Ancient  British  graves  prores  that  they 
were  pre-Roman.  True  it  is,  the  Caledonian  sword  described 
by  Tacitus  in  the  first  century,  was  long,  blunt,  and  adapted 
for  striking;  these  however,  were  made  of  iron,  a  metal  which 
for  some  time  previously  had  been  in  use.  It  is  reasonable 
therefore,  to  infer  that  the  bronze  weapons  belonged  to  a 
more  distant  period,  when  the  Ancient  Britons  had  risen 
above  the  feeble  and  barbarous  state  indicated  by  the  general 
use  of  flint  tipped  arrows  and  javelins,  and  stone  battle  axes, 
and  had  acquired  sufficient  metallurgic  skill  to  produce  bronze 
weapons ;  for  that  bronze  objects  are  of  native  manufacture 
is  evidenced  by  the  discovery  in  Britain,  not  only  of  moulds 
in  which  these  objects  were  cast,  but  also  of  lumps  of  the 
crude  unfashioned  metal  itself. 

In  the  Alnwick  Castle  Museum  there  are  a  bronze  celt, 
with  a  socket  and  ring,  which  was  found  in  the  North 
Demesne  in  18S4,  and  a  bronze  spear  head,  with  a  socket  for 
a  handle,  obtained  from  Den  wick  in  18S2— Plate  IL,Jig.  6. 
These  are  of  the  same  shape  as  the  Old  Park  relics. 

Another  very  curious  bronze  implement  is  also  there,  found 
somewhere  in  Holn  Park ;  it  is  remarkable,  as  being  orna- 
mented by  incised  figures,  considered  to  be  of  a  Celtic 
character,  somewhat  resembling  the  outline  of  a  dog's  face. 
These  figures  are  similar  to  some  on  Celtic  antiquities  found 
near  to  Stanwick  in  Yorkshire.  This  implement  is  flat  and 
shaped  like  a  heater;  but  of  its  use  I  can  form  no  rational 
conjecture — Plate  IL^fig,  6. 


Gold  occurring  generally  in  a  native  state,  frequently  in 
superficial  deposits,  and  being  moreover  easily  smelted  and 
worked,  was  one  of  the  earliest  metals  discovered  and  applied 
to  use.  By  the  Ancient  British  people,  it  was  fashioned  into 
various  ornaments — ^into  torques  which  adorned  the  necks  of 
their  chiefs,  into  armlets,  fibulae,  and  rings.  Two  golden 
penannular  ornaments  were  found  in  1860,  in  Cooper's  Hill, 
near  to  the  Alnwick  Railway  Station,  when  this  hill  was  cut 
through  during  the  formation  of  the  branch  line.  Unfortu- 
nately, these  very  rare  and  valuable  relics  were  broken  by 
the  workmen  ana  sold  to  an  ironmonger ;  but  Dr,  Charlton 
of  Newcastle,  bought  the  fragments  and  placed  them  in  the 
Museum  of  the  Newcastle  Antiquarian  Society.  The  frag- 
ments consist  of  thin  ringed  pktes,  1^  and  If  inches  m 

Digitized  by 




diameter,  a  narrow  plate  J  of  an  inch  wide  and  2  J  inches 
long,  and  fine  golden  wire.  A  restored  figure  of  one  of  these 
rings  will  shew  its  peculiar  shape ;  it  is  ornamented  with 
very  delicate  and  well  formed  impressions  of  concentric 
circles  which  had  heeu  made  by  a  stamp,  each  series  consisting 
of  twelve,  and  being  about  ^  of  an  inch  in  diameter.  The 
golden  wire  had  been  used  along  the  outer  edge  of  the  ring, 
where  the  plates  join,  to  give  strength  to  the  ornament  and 
keep  it  in  shape. 

na  2  na I 

Fig,  1. — Perspective  View  shewing  the  ornaraeivted  surface. 
Fig,  2.— Profile  View. 

The  other  ring  was  of  the  same  form,  but  plain.  Made  with 
so  much  skill,  as  to  rival  the  most  artistic  work  of  modern 
goldsmiths,  they  must  have  been  highly  valued  personal 
ornaments ;  but  in  what  manner  applied  it  is  difficult  to  say. 

One  of  the  same  character,  weighing  71  grains,  now  in  the 
Museum  of  the  Rev.  William  Greenwell,  Durham,  was  found 
near  Cheeseburn  Grange  in  Northumberland.  No  others 
have  been  discovered  in  England;  but  these  penannular 
ornaments  have  been  found  in  Anglesey  along  with  golden 
armlets ;  and  a  few  have  been  discovered  in  Ireland.  Dr. 
Daniel  Wilson  in  his  Pre-historic  Annals  of  Scotland,*  gives 
a  figure  of  one  from  the  West  Highlands,  and  describes  it  as 
"  a  curious  hollow  penannular  gold  capsule." 

Scandinavian  archaeologists  would  refer  the  Alnwick  rings 
to  the  Northmen,  some  of  whom  settled  in  Northumberland, 
because  concentric  circles  ornament  some  Scandinavian  relics; 
but  the  premises  do  not  warrant  the  conclusion,  for  concentric 
circles  are  on  relics  of  various  ages ;  we  have  them  on  the 

*  Second  Edition,  p.  458,  fig.  88. 

Digitized  by 



Ancient  British  sculptured  rocks  of  Northumberland ;  they 
occur  on  Koman  objects^  and  I  have  seen  them  on  ancient 
Babylonian  pottery.  The  association  however^  of  these 
golden  ornaments  with  other  relics  proves  their  age;  for 
they  were  found  at  Alnwick  along  with  a  socketed  and 
ringed  bronze  celt,  within  an  urn,  having  the  zigzag  scorings 
characteristic  of  Aacient  British  pottery. 

It  has  been  suggested  that  such  rings  may  have  been  used 
as  money ;  in  Africa  at  the  present  day,  golden  rings  are  so 
applied.  For  such  a  purpose  however,  our  Alnwick  orna- 
ments are  too  light  and  fragile,  and  their  exquisite  artistic 
finish  indicate  a  higher  object ;  but  it  is  not  improbable,  that 
six  other  rings  formed  of  solid  twisted  gold  bars,  weighing 
602'S  grains,  found  in  the  parish  of  Ford  in  1856,  and  now 
in  Mr.  Greenwell*s  Museum,  may  have  been  Ancient  British 
ring  money. 


No  stone  circle  is  within  the  parish;  but  one  ancient 
monolith  still  stands  on  high  ground  in  a  plantation,  about 
a  mile  westward  of  Holn  Abbey,  and  not  far  distant  from 
Ancient  British  sepulchres.  It  is  a  rude  unhewn  pillar  of 
sandstone,  5  feet  4  inches  high  above  ground,  somewhat 
square,  the  sides  being  from  2S  inches  to  25  inches  broad. 
Deeply  guttered  and  worn  by  time,  it  has  the  aspect  of  great 
antiquity ;  and  it  is  referred  to  in  a  charter  dated  A.D.  128S, 
as  '*  the  great  standing  stone  on  the  height.** — Plate  11.^  fig. 
11.  For  what  object  it  was  placed  there,  is  now  a  mystery ; 
some  of  these  stones  were  hoar  or  boundary  stones — others 
were  memorial  stones  to  commemorate  important  events — 
others  were  cat  stones  to  mark  the  site  of  a  battle,  and  others 
were  connected  with  sepulchres.  Such  stones  were  long  held 
in  veneration  and  associated  with  romantic  legends. 


Many  Celtic  words  derived  from  this  olden  time  are  in 
daily  use,  intermingled  with  our  common  Anglo-Saxon 
speech ;  but  as  these  are  not  peculiar  to  the  district,  they 
need  not  detain  us.  The  names  of  many  hills,  rivers,  and 
other  prominent  objects  in  Northumberland  are  Celtic.  A 
few  of  these  are  impressed  on  our  district.  Aln  the  name  of 
the  river  is,  as  we  have  seen,  Celtic.  We  have  2V?y», 
(Celtic,)  an  eminence  or  tuft  of  wood  in  Twinlaw,  a  high 


Digitized  by 



hill  on  the  western  boundary  of  Alnwick  Moor^  where  the 
Lord  of  the  Manor  called  over  the  names  of  the  burgesses 
on  the  day  when  the  boundaries  of  the  Common  were  per- 
ambulated ;  Law  is  an  Anglo-Saxon  addition,  meaning  a  hill. 
Traces  of  the  Celtic  we  have  in  Pennywelk,  the  name  of 
fields  on  high  ground  north  of  the  Aln,  which  may  come 
from  Pen-y-ffwal — the  rampart  on  the  head  or  point.  The 
^'Firth/'  on  the  south  side  of  the  parish,  is  from  JPHdd, 
(Celtic,)  a  forest  or  wood ;  and  in  Katcheugh,  we  have  a 
word  compounded  of  the  Celtic  Mhach,  that  which  is  forced 
out,  descriptive  of  the  outbreak  of  pillared  rock  forming  the 
cliff;  and  of  the  Saxon  heugh,  which  has  a  similar  meaning. 
In  Dunsheugh,  which  is  hard  by,  there  is  the  same  Saxon 
termination,  with  the  Hibemico-Celtic  Dun^  a  fortress. 

The  old  remains  in  Alnwick  Parish,  though  not  numerous, 
yet  include  representatives  of  most  kinds  of  relics  belonging 
to  the  Ancient  British  Period;  they  prove  that  a  Celtic  popu- 
lation was  scattered  over  the  district,  and  that  probably 
Alnwick  itself  was  originally  a  Celtic  settlement. 

Of  this  distant  and  obscure  period,  better  illustrations  have 
been  gathered  from  the  wild  uncultivated  hills  and  moor- 
lands in  the  district  westward  of  Alnwick.  At  Holywell  we 
found  traces  of  a  single  hut ;  but  among  the  Cheviots  and 
undisturbed  hill  lands,  there  are  groups  of  such  dwellings ; 
and  there  too  we  can  see  the  relation  which  the  great  forts, 
the  fortified  towns  and  houses,  the  hut  dwellings,  the  sepul- 
chres, and  the  temples  bear  to  each  other. 

At  Greaves  Ash,  on  high  ground  near  Linhope  in  the 
valley  of  the  Breamish,  and  among  the  porphyritic  hills  of 
the  Cheviot  range,  one  of  these  primitive  fortified  towns  has 
been  examined  by  means  of  excavations.  This  wonderful 
though  ruined  structure,  consists  of  three  principal  parts, 
all  defended  by  encircling  walls ;  on  the  highest  ground  is 
the  stronghold  or  citadel ;  at  a  little  distance  is  the  middle 
fort,  which  may  have  been  the  residence  of  the  chief;  and 
lower  down  is  the  principal  town,  which  is  circular,  having 
a  circumference  of  1000  feet,  and  defended  by  two  encircling 
walls  from  5  feet  to  IS  feet  in  thickness,  built  without  lime, 
of  unhewn  porphyry  blocks.  The  great  outer  wall  may  have 
been  10  feet  in  height.  Within  these  defences  are  numbers 
of  hut  circles  from  8  feet  to  SO  feet  in  diameter,  which  when 
complete  had  walls,  similarly  built,  some  four  or  five  feet  in 
height,  surmounted  by  wattle  work,  with  a  tapering  roof 

Digitized  by 



covered  by  sods  or  heather  or  rashes.  These  huts  are  roughly 
flagged  with  flat  porphyry  stones ;  and  in  one,  a  low  stone 
bench  about  S  incnes  above  the  level  of  the  floor  and  5  feet 
in  breadth  extends  round  the  wall  of  the  hut,  probably  the 
place  whereon  the  inmates  slept.  The  fire  was  in  the  centre, 
and  the  entrances,  generally  on  the  eastward,  were  closed  with 
a  door,  which  opened  towards  the  interior,  as  we  still  find  a 
raised  row  of  flags  across  the  entrance  forming  a  check  to  a 
door.  Though  the  principal  parts  are  somewhat  detached 
from  each  other,  they  nevertheless  form  one  assemblage  of 
dwellings  and  fortifications,  for  they  are  connected  by  enclo- 
sures, hollow  roads,  and  a  general  defensive  rampart  on  the 
south.  They  constitute  a  primeeval  fortified  town  —  an 
Ancient  British  oppidum — constructed  according  to  a  different 
type  from  any  modern  city  ;  for  here  there  are  no  rectangular 
houses,  straight  streets,  or  towering  chimneys,  but  simply  a 
collection  of  rude  huts,  irregularly  grouped,  and  with  winding 
trackways  between.  While  the  arrangements  evince  a  low 
state  of  civilization,  they  prove  moreover,  from  the  skilful 
manner  in  which  the  defences  are  planned,  that  the  rude 
inhabitants  had  at  least  studied  the  art  of  war.* 

The  primseval  antiquities  around  Yevering  are  also  highly 
instructive.  Yevering  Bell,  a  truncated  cone  some  1500  feet 
in  height,  has  its  summit,  containing  an  area  of  twelve  acres, 
encircled  by  a  great  wall  of  unhewn  stones  8  feet  in  thick- 
ness ;  within  this  are  remains  of  several  hut  circles,  and  at 
the  eastern  end  is  a  small  fort,  formerly  regarded  as  a 
Druidical  place  of  sacrifice.  Almost  every  hill  in  the  district 
is  crested  with  a  fort ;  but  among  these  rolling  hills,  there 
are  dry  and  sheltered  valleys,  scattered  over  which  are  num- 
bers of  hut  circles,  sometimes  detached,  but  more  frequently 
in  groups.  Planted  in  the  midst  of  these  huts,  are  several 
small  forts — ^the  strongholds  of  the  Ancient  British  chiefe,  in 
which  the  inhabitants  of  the  huts  would  find  refuge  on  sudden 
emergencies ;  resembling  in  this  respect,  the  Border  bastiles 
and  pele  towers  of  the  middle  ages,  which  were  places  of 
refriffe  and  defence  for  the  inhabitants  of  the  cottages  and 
ha^ets,  when  Northumberland  was  exposed  to  Scottish 
raids.  The  great  forts,  such  as  Yevering,  were  the  castles  of 
the  period;  on  high  elevations  exposed  to  the  frill  play  of 
stormy  winds  4ind  inclement  weather,  they  were  not  smted 
for  permanent  residence ;  but  when  the  district  was  invaded 

•  Hktonr  of  the  Berwiduhire  Naturalitts*  Clab,  YoL  lY.,  p.  29S. 

Digitized  by 



by  a  powerful  foe^  they  would  be  secure  places  of  refuge ; 
and  from  the  natural  strength  of  their  position  and  the 
massiveness  of  their  ramparts^  they  would  be  impr^i;nable^  if 
defended  by  brave  hearts  and  stout  arms.* 

Excavations  made  into  these  structures,  brought  to  light 
some  relics  illustrating  the  history  of  the  period.  Querns  of 
a  rude  character  were  found  at  Greaves  Ash,  the  Chesters 
Camp  on  the  Prendwick  Estate,  and  even  on  the  summit  of 
Yevering ;  and  as  one  of  these  querns  in  a  broken  state  was 
applied  as  a  flag  in  a  hut  floor,  we  have  evidence  that  the 
Ancient  Britons  at  an  early  period,  not  only  lived  on  the 
produce  of  the  chase  and  of  pasturage,  but  also  cultivated 
land  and  ground  their  com;  and  this  is  corroborated  by 
remains  of  ancient  cultivation,  seen  in  horizontal  furrows, 
high  up  among  the  hills  in  the  neighbourhood  of  these 
settlements.  Pottery  of  a  rude  description,  hand  made,  of 
coarse  clay  and  ill  burnt,  was  discovered  in  considerable 
quantity.  But  more  interesting  were  the  ornaments  obtained ; 
armlets  made  of  polished  oak  were  found  in  hut  circles  on 
the  top  of  Yevering,  and  one  of  a  white  opalised  glass,  and 
another  of  variously  coloured  glass  with  wavy  lines  of  white 
enamel,  were  discovered  in  huts  at  Greaves  Ash  and  Swint 
Law  near  Yevering.  A  beautiful  green  glass  bead  occurred 
at  the  Chesters,  but  this  probably  was  used  more  as  an 
amulet  than  an  ornament;  they  are  traditionally  called 
Druid's  Beads.  A  copper  pin — ^part  of  a  fibula — ^was  dug  cut 
of  the  fort  on  the  highest  point  of  Yevering  Bell.  Almost 
all  the  weapons  and  instruments  were  of  stone,  and  are 
referable  to  a  very  early  period ;  a  flint  javelin  head  was 
found  at  Chesters ;  and  flint  arrow  heads,  flint  knives  and 
saw,  and  also  unfashioned  pieces  of  flint,  the  raw  material 
out  of  which  weapons  and  instruments  were  manufactured, 
around  Yevering.  An  exceedingly  rude  spear  head  of  iron, 
was  taken  out  of  a  hut  on  Swint  Law,  belonging  however, 
probably,  to  the  later  periods  of  Celtic  occupation. 

From  the  sepulchres  opened  in  the  district  around  Alnwick, 
we  gather  some  additional  information.  Vessels  made  of 
coarse  clay  were  usually  placed  in  the  small  stone  chamber, 
either  with  the  body  entire,  or  with  the  ashes  remaining 
after  having  been  burnt.  The  pottery  of  this  period  is 
readily  distinguishable,  from  the  shape  of  the  vessels,  from 
the  material  of  which  it  was  made,  and  from  the  zigzag  or 

•  History  of  the  Berwickshire  Naturalists'  Club,  Vol  IV.,  p.  481. 

Digitized  by 



herring  bone  scorings  with  which  it  was  ornamented.  In 
Northumberland  the  forms  were  chiefly  two— one  like  an 
ordinary  jar,  coarsely  made ;  and  the  other  of  a  more  elegant 
tulip-shape,  more  carefdlly  manufactured  and  more  elabor- 
ately incised.  Fanciful  names  have  been  given  to  them  from 
their  supposed  uses — such  as  incense  cups,  urns,  drinking 
cups,  and  vases ;  but  I  am  disposed  to  think,  that  most,  iS 
not  all  of  them,  were  the  domestic  vessels  of  the  period ;  and 
as  his  weapons,  his  ornaments,  his  amulets,  were  placed  in  the 
tomb  of  the  departed  hero,  so  was  also  his  drinking  cup,  that 
he  might  be  fiiUy  equipped  for  his  career  in  ayjother  world. 

Interesting  forms  of  urns  were  found  in  a  group  of  cist- 
Taens  on  Hawkhill  estate  near  to  Lesbury ;  in  one  at  North 
Charlton,  there  was  laid  by  the  side  of  a  warrior,  his  bronze 
dagger  along  with  his  amulet — ^a  glass  bead ;  and  in  another 
near  Humbleton,  a  necklace,  composed  of  flat  rhomboidal 
beads  made  of  cannel  coal  or  jet,  some  of  which  were  studded 
with  gold  points,  was  hung  around  the  neck  of  a  female 
skeleton.  A  group  of  four  cist-vaens  opened  at  Tosson  near 
Rothbury,  gives  more  important  information ;  each  contained 
an  entire  skeleton  doubled  up,  and  three  of  them,  character- 
istic Ancient  British  urns ;  in  one  or  other  of  them  were 
found  an  iron  weapon,  a  bronze  buckle,  and  circular  orna- 
ments made  of  cannel  coal  or  jet,  about  the  size  of  a  crown 
piece,  convex  on  the  upper  surface  and  flat  on  the  lower, 
which  had  a  loop  by  which  the  ornament  could  be  attached 
to  the  dress  either  as  a  button  or  fibula.  These  sepulchres 
are  especially  interesting,  because  one  of  the  skulls  has  been 
preserved;  it  was  described  by  the  author  in  the  Proceedings 
of  the  Society  of  Antiquaries  for  Scotland,  and  furnished  the 
first  information  as  to  the  crania  of  the  Otadeni,  the  tribe 
who  peopled  the  eastern  parts  of  Northumberland  and  Ber- 
wickshire prior  to  the  Roman  invasion.  By  permission  of 
that  Society,  I  am  able  to  give  figures  of  this  cranium  and  of 
the  iron  weapon  with  which  it  was  associated. 

Dr.  Barnard  Davis,  one  of  our  most  accomplished  ethnolo- 
gists, has  since  figured  and  described  this  cranium  in  his  mag- 
nificent work  Crania  Britannica,  as  ^^one  of  the  typical  series 
of  Ancient  British  crania."  It  is  a  capacious  skull  of  a  man 
beyond  the  prime  of  life,  for  the  sutures,  save  the  squamous, 
are  obliterated,  and  the  crown  of  the  teeth  are  much  worn. 
The  face  is  flat  and  broad,  the  chin  prominent,  and  the  fore- 
head high,  but  square.  It  is  short  and  broad,  and  hence  the 
name  ''Brachy-cephalic;"  its  length  is  7'1  inches  and  breadth 

Digitized  by 



6-1  inches,  shewing  a  proportion  of  1000  in  length  to  859  in 

RQ.  3  no.  4- 

no.  5 

Pig,  S.;>-Side  View  of  the  Tonon  tkulL 
Fig,  4.— View  of  the  crown  of  this  ftknlL 
Fig.  5.— lion  weapon. 

During  the  last  five  years  researches  have  been  made  with 
some  success  into  the  etnnology  of  the  Ancient  Britons  inhabit- 
ing the  Eastern  Borders;  and  it  may  now  be  affirmed  that  the 
Tosson  cranium  is  typical  of  the  race.  Above  a  dozen  skulls 
have  been  critically  examined,  and  all  prove  to  be  of  the  Brachy- 
cephalic  type.  One  as  we  have  seen,  was  found  in  Hoin 
Park ;  another,  that  of  a  female,  at  North  Sunderland ;  one 
at  Grundstone  Law ;  another  at  Ilderton — the  skull  of  a  man 
between  forty  and  fifty  years  of  age,  indicating  considerable 
intelligence ;  one  near  Dunse ;  and  seven  near  to  Cockbums- 
path  in  Berwickshire. 

Such  crania  of  the  Otadeni  of  the  Eastern  Borders  differ 
not  only  from  the  elongated  skulls  (the  Dolico-cephalic)  of 
Englishmen,  but  it  is  supposed  too,  from  the  modem  Celts — 
the  Welsh,  Irish,  and  Gaelic ;  they  correspond  with  those  of 
the  stone  age  men  of  Scandinavia.  Some  antiquaries,  guided 
by  ethnology,  would  infer  from  this,  that  these  Ancient 
British  people  belonged  to  a  Pre-Celtic  race— of  feeble  organ- 
isation. Ignorant  of  metals  and  using  weapons  and  tools  made 
of  stone,  wood,  or  bone.  The  premises  however,  would  be 
too  narrow  for  this  conclusion ;  other  lines  of  research  must 

Digitized  by 



throw  Ught  upon  the  question.  We  have  evidence  that 
metals  were  in  use  both  as  tools  and  weapons  among  these 
Ancient  Britons^  bronze  certainly,  and,  towards  the  latter 
period,  iron.  Indeed  it  is  doubtM  whether  a  knowledge  of 
uron  was  absent  from  any  period  of  Northumbrian  historjr  of 
which  we  have  remains ;  for  in  a  barrow  near  to  Yevering 
where  several  flint  weapons,  instruments,  and  flakes  were 
found,  there  were  also  lumps  of  iron  slag.  Nor  do  the  facts 
warrant  the  conclusion,  that  in  Northumberland  there  was  a 
stone  age,  followed  in  succession  by  a  bronze  age  and  an  iron 
age ;  it  is  rather  to  be  inferred,  that  the  materials  used  for 
weapons  and  instruments  were  distinctive  of  class;  for  while 
the  chieftain  from  his  superior  power  and  means  could  com- 
mand an  iron  or  a  bronze  weapon,  the  commonalty  had  to 
content  themselves  with  weapons  fashioned  out  of  the  more 
accessible  and  tractable  materials,  of  wood,  bone,  or  stone. 
Something  would  depend  on  the  local  position  of  a  tribe ; 
and  probably  too,  some  tribes  less  civilized  and  less  advanced 
in  art,  had  fewer  metallic  products  than  other  tribes  living 
at  the  same  period.  The  era  of  our  Northumbrian  pre- 
Soman  remains  would,  I  think,  correspond  more  nearly  with 
what  has  been  called  the  bronze  age  than  with  the  others ; 
not  that  other  metals  were  absent,  but  because  bronze  was 
more  used  for  the  fabrication  of  weapons  and  instruments. 
Language  aids  in  the  determination  of  the  question  as  to 
race;  for  the  names  of  hills,  rivers,  and  other  prominent 
objects  in  Northumberland — ^names  given  by  the  aboriginal 
inhabitants  and  which  survive  oftentimes  the  revolutions  of 
race — ^are  Celtic.  A  people  so  numerous  as  the  Celts  were, 
when  Caesar  invaded  Britain — ^he  calls  them  an  infinite  mul- 
titude— ^would  surely  leave  some  traces  of  their  occupancy  of 
the  island;  but  if  the  forts,  oppida,  barrows,  and  stone  circles, 
which  we  have  in  Northumberland,  are  not  their  remains,  it 
may  be  asked,  where  are  they  to  be  found  ?  For  if  we  attribute 
these  remains  to  an  earlier  race,  we  would  blot  out  the 
records  of  many  centuries  from  our  annals.  Taking,  there- 
fore, into  accoimt  various  kinds  of  evidence,  we  may  conclude 
that  the  old  remains  in  Northumberland  belong  to  the  Celtic 
race,  though  they  may  tell  the  history  of  many  centuries 
prior  to  the  Christian  era.  The  apparent  discrepant  evidence 
^om  ethnology  is  suggestive  of  inquiry;  may  not  the  type  of 
cranium  gradually  change  through  long  ages  of  advancing 
civilization,  or  may  not  this  effect  be  produced  even  by  a 
slight  admixture  of  a  new  and  dominating  race  ? 

Digitized  by 



According  to  Caesar^  the  Ancient  British  people  had  a 
religion  which  recognised  superior  powers  ruling  in  the  world, 
and  inculcated  the  immortality  of  the  soul  and  its  passage 
at  death  into  other  bodies.  Greatly  superstitious  they  were; 
and  says  Pliny,  "  the  magic  arts  were  cultivated  with  such 
astonishing  success  and  so  many  ceremonies,  that  the  Britons 
seem  capable  of  instructing  even  the  Persians  themselves  in 
these  arts.''  The  Druids  were  not  only  the  priests  of  this 
religion,  but  judges,  philosophers,  and  schoolmasters.  Where 
then  were  their  temples,  their  places  of  meeting,  their  altars, 
and  the  apparatus  by  which  they  performed  their  supersti- 
tious and  magical  arts  ?  Enclosures  on  the  top  of  high  hills, 
such  as  Yevering,  were  regarded  by  antiquaries  of  a  past 
generation  as  Druidical  temples;  but  such  places  are  now 
proved  to  have  been  strongholds.  Small  monolithic  circles, 
such  as  one  on  Dod  Law,  were  sepulchral ;  but  probably  the 
larger  stone  circles  were  devoted  to  the  administration  of 
justice,  to  national  assemblies,  and  to  religious  worship. 
The  most  important  of  these  circles  in  Northumberland, 

Fig.  6.— Plan  of  stone  circle,  Three  Stone  Bum. 

y  Google 

Digitized  by  ^ 



situated  in  a  wild  and  lonely  valley  0])ening  eastward  from 
the  Cheviots,  near  to  Three  Stone  Bum,  has  been  thoroughly 
explored.  It  is  of  an  oval  shape,  840  feet  in  circumference, 
and  formed  of  a  single  row  of  upright  stones  of  syenite,  from 
about  4  feet  to  d|  feet  in  height ;  thirteen  of  them  still  remain. 
Excavations  through  this  circle  exposed  charcoal  strewed 
over  the  original  surface ;  and  a  portion  of  a  small  grey  flint 
knife  was  found,  which  we  could  readily  imagine  to  have 
been  used  for  some  sacrificial  purpose  by  a  Druid.  This 
circle  was  not  sepulchral,  for  not  a  vestige  of  an  interment 
was  seen ;  it  was  not  a  stronghold,  for  it  is  not  fortified  either 
by  nature  or  art ;  and  it  is  not  a  town  or  dwelling,  for  there 
are  neither  walls  nor  interior  arrangements.  Such  circles 
were  held  in  veneration,  and  traditions  of  their  sacredness 
are  preserved  in  Scotland  in  the  common  Gaelic  phrase^ 
Am  bheU  thu  dol,  **are  you  going  to  the  stones?"  when 
inquiry  is  made  whether  a  person  is  going  to  the  church. 

We  may  connect  with  this  subject  the  mysterious  inscrip- 
tions on  rocks  in  Northumberland.  Our  account  of  the 
period  would  be  incomplete  without  some  notice  of  them; 
and  besides  this,  they  occur  within  the  barony  and  but  a 
short  distance  from  the  boundary  of  the  parish.  Forty  years 
ago,  Mr.  John  C.  Langlands  discovered  defaced  and  old- 
world  looking  figures  on  sandstone  blocks  near  the  great 
Ancient  British  camp  on  the  top  of  Old  Bewick  Hill ;  but 
his  discovery  assumed  greater  significance,  when  in  1832  the 
Rev.  William  Gxeenwell  found  another  rock  at  Routing  Linn 
covered  with  the  same  kind  of  sculptures.  The  following 
figures  will  shew  the  characteristic  forms.     The  typical  form 


Digitized  by 



— ^that  which  distinguishes  these  inscriptions  from  aU  others 
— ^is  a  series  of  incomplete  concentric  circles  around  a  central 
hollow  or  cup^  from  which  proceeds  a  groove  or  gutter  through 
the  series  of  circles— ^j'.  1.  This  radial  groove  often  extends 
beyond  the  circles,  is  usually  straight,  but  sometimes  curved 
and  wavy;  in  some  cases  the  groove  crosses  the  entire 
diameter— /£j^.  11;  and  in  one  case  there  are  three  radial 
grooves ;  there  are  oval,  horse  shoe,  and  arched  forms,  as  in 
Jigs.  9, 18, 7;  two  grooves  issue  from^.  6;  a  curious  fringed 
or  rayed  form  is  presented  hy  Jig,  4 ;  jigs,  8  and  12  are  some- 
what abnonnal,  as  they  deviate  from  the  circular ;  circles  are 
united  by  a  groove  iuj^^.  S;  and  inj(^.  10  we  have  a  com- 
pound form  resembling  a  plant  with  its  stem,  branches,  and 
floral  heads.  In  size  the  forms  vary  from  two  inches  to  thirty- 
nine  inches  in  diameter,  and  one  is  composed  of  eight  con- 
centric circles.  On  some  rocks  a  number  of  figures  are 
combined,  forming  a  complicated  and  maze-like  plan,  as  in 
^g.  8,  page  27,  from  Old  Bewick,  the  first  inscribed  stone 
d^overed  in  Northumberland. 

All  have  been  incised  on  sandstone  rocks  by  a  bluntly 
pointed  tool,  probably  of  bronze ;  but  where  sculptures  have 
been  exposed  for  centuries  to  the  play  of  the  elements^ 
nature  has  given  an  artistic  finish  to  the  original  rude  work- 
manship, and  so  rounded  the  jagged  edges  and  smoothed  the 
hollows,  that  the  figures  stand  out  like  rings  in  the  rock. 
They  are  not  found  on  the  hard  intractable  porphyry  of  the 
Cheviots,  nor  on  the  flanks  of  those  hills ;  but  on  one  or 
other  of  the  beds  of  thick  sandstone  which  crops  out  on  the 
high  hills  and  elevated  ridges  in  the  central  moor-lands  of 
Northumberland.  They  have  been  found  on  Hunter's  Moor 
near  Ford,  at  Routing  Linn,  on  Harelaw  Crags,  on  Dodding- 
ton  Law  and  Horton  Moor,  on  Gledlaw,  on  Whitsunbank> 
on  Chatton  Law  and  Old  Bewick  Hill,  on  Eglingham^ 
Beanley,  and  Charlton  Moors,  on  Cartington  Cove,  and  in 
the  parish  of  Stamfordham. 

Fifty-three  of  these  sculptured  stones  have  been  discovered 
in  Northumberland;  and  on  these  there  are  about  three 
hundred  and  fifty  figures,  one  hundred  and  fifty  of  which 
are  distinguishably  different  from  each  other.  All  are  con- 
nected with  Ancient  British  remains ;  four  of  them  formed 
the  covers  of  cist-vaens;  two  are  within  a  few  yards  of 
sepulchral  barrows ;  five  of  them  are  within  Ancient  British 
camps ;  eight  of  them  are  not  more  than  one  hundred  yards 
distant  from  such  camps ;  most  of  the  others  are  less  distant 

Digitized  by 




na  a 

SCALE    OF    rEET. 


Digitized  by 



than  half-a-mile^  and  none  fiirther  away  than  a  mile.  Their 
relation  however,  to  the  camps,  forts,  and  hut  circles — ^the 
dwellings  of  the  Ancient  British  people — is  more  apparent 
than  to  their  sepulchres. 

These  peculiar  inscriptions  have  been  discovered  at  Jed- 
burgh; in  Kircudbrightshire ;  in  Ayrshire;  on  a  cist  cover 
near  Edinburgh ;  on  standing  stones  as  well  as  on  rocks  in 
situ  in  Argyleshire ;  in  Forfarshire ;  as  far  north  as  Orkney, 
on  the  waU  of  a  sepulchral  chamber;  on  '^Long  Meg,"  a 
standing  stone  near  Penrith ;  on  a  stone  pillar  at  Shap ;  in 
Yorkshire,  Derbyshire,  and  on  a  cist  cover  as  far  south  as 
Devonshire.  Several  have  been  found  in  Kerry  in  Ireland 
covered  by  bogs,  and  one  on  the  top  of  a  cromlech. 

If  these  inscriptions  were  merely  ornamental,  they  would 
be  of  great  interest,  as  being  the  earliest  sculptures — the 
first  efforts  of  infant  art,  in  Britain ;  but  their  wide  dis- 
tribution, proves  that  the  whole  of  Britain  was  at  an  early 
period  peopled  by  tribes  of  one  race,  who  were  imbued  with 
the  same  superstitions  and  expressed  them  by  the  same 

What  indeed,  could  be  sufficiently  important  to  induce 
tribes  living  hundreds  of  miles  apart  and  even  separated  by 
the  sea,  to  use  precisely  the  same  symbols,  save  to  express 
some  religious  sentiments  or  to  aid  in  the  performance  of 
some  superstitious  rites,  which  were  common  to  the  whole 

Such  are  some  of  the  facts  illustrative  of  the  character  and 
condition  of  the  Ancient  British  people  living  in  the  valley 
of  the  Aln,  at  a  period  when  the  lower  grounds  were  covered 
with  woods  and  swamps,  when  the  sites  of  towns  and 
villages  were  on  grounds  of  moderate  elevation,  when  the 
hill  tops  were  crowned  with  strong  forts,  and  when  many 
little  independent  tribes  and  clans  were  at  war  with  each 
other.  The  arrangements  breathe  defiance,  and  indicate  in- 
security, and  tell  of  warfare  and  bloodshed.  Brave  though 
the  race  was,  yet  rent  by  divisions  and  intestine  war,  it  was 
conquered  and  enslaved  by  a  foreign  foe. 

*  This  view  was  given  by  roe  in  my  Address  as  President  of  the  Berwickshire 
Naturalists'  Club  in  1858.  See  History  of  the  Club,  Vol.  ITL,  p.  129.  For  a 
full  description  of  these  inscriptions,  with  figures  of  all  discovered  in  Northum- 
berland, and  a  disquisition  as  to  their  age  and  meaning,  I  refer  to  the  History  of 
the  Club,  Vol.  IV.,  p.  187 ;  and  to  ••The  Ancient  British  Sculptured  Rocks  of 
Northumberland  and  the  Eastern  Borders,  with  Notices  of  the  Remains  Associ- 
ated with  these  Sculptures,"  by  Geoi^e  Tate,  F.G.S.,  &c« 

Digitized  by 





Althougli  Cffisar  effected  tlie  conquest  of  the  south  of  Eng* 
land  in  the  54th  year  before  the  Christian  Era^  it  was  not 
till  183  years  afterwards  that  the  northern  parts  were  brought 
under  the  dominion  of  Some.  Agricola  was  both  a  statesman 
and  a  warrior ;  what  he  had  won  by  his  military  genius  he 
retained  by  his  administratiye  skill;  and  by  introducing 
among  the  conquered  Britons  the  arts  and  knowledge  of 
civilized  life^  he  endeayoured  to  moderate  their  fierce  passions 
and  reclaim  them  firom  barbarism.  The  power  of  this  great 
people  continued  to  be  exercised  till  A.D.  430^  when  the 
Soman  legions  bid  an  eternal  farewell  to  Britain.  During 
this  period^  the  great  barrier  wall  was  built^  extending  from 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Tyne  to  the  Solway,  and  the  import* 
tant  roads— Watling  Street  and  the  DeviFs  Causeway — 
which  pass  through  the  county,  were  made. 

There  is  however,  no  sufficient  evidence  of  any  Roman 
station  or  town  having  been  within  the  parish  of  Alnwick. 
The  Itinerary  of  Antoninus,  compiled  in  the  fourth  century, 
contains  no  reference  to  the  district  around  Alnwick ;  but  m 
Ptolemy's  Geography,  composed  as  early  as  the  second  cen- 
tury, there  are  mentioned,  as  being  on  the  north-east  side  of 
Britain — ^''Estuary  Boderia;  mouth  of  the  river  Alaunus, 
mouth  of  the  river  Vedra."  Boderia  is  doubtless  the  Firth 
of  Forth,  but  it  is  questionable  to  what  river  the  Alaimus 
refers ;  from  the  affinity  of  the  names^  Camden  conjectures  it 
is  the  Aln,  but  Horsley  supposes  it  to  be  the  Tweed.  The 
Bavenna  Cosmography,  a  treatise  on  geographical  science, 
compiled  at  Savenna  in  the  seventh  century,  contains  a  more 
distinct  reference  to  the  river  or  to  a  station  near  to  it;  in 

Digitized  by 



this  list,  besides  the  stations  along  the  Roman  Wall,  we  have 
**  Bremenium,  Cocuneda^  Alauna,  Oleiolavis."  Bremenium 
is  Rochester  by  the  side  of  Watling  Street  on  the  Reed ;  and 
Cocuneda  and  Alauna  may  be  identified  as  the  Coquet  and 
the  Aln.  Richard  of  Cirencester,  a  doubtful  authority,  in 
his  IV.  Iter,  gives  as  beyond  the  Roman  "Wall  and  within 
the  Roman  province  of  Valentia — "  Alauna  amne  m.  p.  xxv., 
Tueda  flumine  m.  p.  xxx.*'  The  dii^nce  of  twenty-five 
thousand  paces,  corresponds  however,  with  the  distance  be- 
tween the  wall  and  the  river  Coquet.  Upon  such  doubtful 
notices  no  sound  conclusion  can  be  drawn  of  Alnwick  having 
been  a  Roman  station,  especially  as  it  is  not  corroborated  by 
archseological  evidence;  for  no  Roman  camps  or  walls  remain, 
no  Roman  relics  have  been  found,  and  no  Roman  roads  are 
traceable  within  the  parish.  If  any  station  in  this  district 
is  indicated  in  these  itineraries,  it  would  be  somewhere  in 
the  neighbourood  of  Whittingham,  not  far  from  the  Roman 
road,  or  probably  on  Craulaw,  close  to  that  road,  where  there 
are  appearances  of  a  Roman  camp.* 

The  most  remarkable  Roman  work  in  the  district  is  this 
road,  which  is  called  "  the  Devil's  Causeway,"  and  which  is 
about  seven  miles  westward  of  Alnwick.  It  branches  firom 
Watling  Street  at  Beweley,  and  going  northward  to  Hart- 
bum  and  Brinkburn  and  through  the  moor-lands  of  Rimside, 
it  crosses  the  Aln  about  a  mile  eastward  of  Whittingham, 
and  thence  onward  to  .Powbum  and  the  Till,  passing  in 
succession  Chillingham  New  Town,  Hetton,  Lowick,  till 
traces  of  it  are  lost  before  it  reaches  the  Tweed  near  to 
Tweedmouth.  This  road,  which  is  now  much  destroyed, 
was  21  feet  in  breadth  and  paved  with  large  stones.  Near 
this  road,  at  Glanton,  Roman  querns  have  been  found. 

A  camp  more  distinctly  recognisable  as  Roman  than  that 
of  Craulaw,  is  at  Outchester,  on  the  bend  of  Spindlestone 
Burn,  whose  steep  banks  defend  it  on  two  sides ;  the  form, 
like  other  Roman  entrenchments  is  quadrangular,  and  it  is 
so  placed  as  to  defend  the  pass  and  harbour  of  the  river 
Warn.  Not  far  from  this  camp  on  AdJterstone  estate,  the 
property  of  the  late  Dr.  George  Wilson  of  Allerbum  House, 
Alnwick,  a  number  of  Roman  brass  coins,  contained  in  a  small 

«  Craulaw,  one  of  the  earliest  forms  of  the  name,  often  degraded  into  Crawley, 
is  derived  from  iaw,  a  hill,  and  Caer,  **  the  ordinary  term  applied  by  our  Ancient 
British  ancestors  to  Roman  forts  ;*'  R.  Carr  of  Hedgeley,  TransactionB  of  Tyne- 
ride  Club,  Vol.  I.,  p.  «44. 

Digitized  by 




na  Q 

cmk  box,  were  discovered  in  1856  in  a  bog.  These  coins 
represent  a  period  of  about  150  years,  the  earliest  being  about 
A.D.  117  and  the  latest  A.D.  267;  and  belong  to  Hadrian, 
Lucius  JElins,  Antoninus  Pius,  Marcus  Aurelius,  Verus, 
Faustina  the  Younger  wife  of  M.  Aurelius,  Commodus, 
Severus,  Caracalla,  Soliuina  wife  of  Gallienus,  and  Postumus. 
Along  with  these,  there  were  a  brass  beam  7f  inches  long, 
in  good  condition,  and  a  small  brass  scale  like  those  now 
used  by  apothecaries,  some  lead  weights,  and  a  portion  of 
horse  furniture  made  of  lead* 

At  Gloster  Hill,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Coquet,  a  portion 
of  a  Roman  altar  was  discovered  in  1856.  The  following 
cut  represents  the  fragment  and  shews  the  imperfect  inscrip- 
tion. By  comparing  it  with 
a  more  complete  altar  of  the 
same  kind  from  the  Roman 
Wall  at  Benwell,  which  is 
dedicated  to  the  Campestrial 
Mothers  ( Matrihus  Cam- 
pe8t.)y  Mr  William  Dickson 
conjectures  that  the  inscrip- 
tion when  complete  would  be 

Matrihus  Campestribus 
Cohors  primay 
being  an  altar  dedicated  to 
the  Sylvan  Mothers  by  the 
Roman  soldiers  of  the  first 
cohort,  who  were  at  that  time 
at  the  castrum  or  camp  of 
that  placet 

These  are  all  the  Roman  remains  occurring,  as  far  as  I 
know,  within  a  moderate  distance  of  Alnwick.  North  North- 
umberland lying  many^  miles  beyond  the  great  wall,  had 
indeed  been  but  partially  colonised  by  the  Romans,  and 
would  be  held  by  a  very  uncertain  tenure ;  for  Roman  settle- 
ments there,  were  exposed  to  attacks  from  the  native  tribes, 
who  maintained  a  precarious  independence  among  the  hills, 
or  from  the  warlike  inhabitants  of  the  more  northern  parts 
of  the  island.  Whatever  occupation  there  was  of  Northum- 
berland, would  be  within  the  defences  of  the  wall  or  along 
the  lines  of  the  Roman  roads. 

•  Proceedings  of  the  Berwickshire  NBtoralists'  Clubi  Vol  III.,  p.  262. 
t  Idem,  Vol.  IV.,  p.  87. 

Digitized  by 





Who  was  the  Lord  of  Alnwick  in  Saxon  times  ?  Dooms- 
day Book,  the  authentic  record  of  the  property  of  the  country 
at  the  time  of  the  conquest,  did  not  extend  to  Northumber- 
land ;  but  the  question  has  been  answered  by  imaginative 
chroniclers  and  heralds,  whose  legends  have  been  repeated 
by  most  of  our  popular  historians.  In  the  chronicle  of  Aln- 
wick Abbey  we  have  the  following  account. 

'<  Here  begins  the  genealogy  of  the  founders  and  patrons  of  the 
Abbey  of  Alnewyke,  to  wit,  first,  of  Bichard  Tisonne  founder 
of  the  Chapel  of  Saint  Wilfred  of  the  nuns  of  Gisnis.* 

In  the  year  of  our  Lord  1066.  The  arrival  of  the  Normans  in 
England.  Duke  Harald,  son  of  Duke  Qodwin,  after  the  death 
of  King  Edward,  occupied  the  kingdom  of  England,  having 
broken  the  agreement  which  he  coni^ted  with  William,  Duke 
of  the  Normans,  when  he  was  taken  in  Ponthieu;  whence  it 
followed,  that  William,  Duke  of  the  Normans,  called  ike  Bastard, 
having  associated  with  him,  Sirs  Tvo  de  Vescy  and  Eustace 
Eitz-John,  knights,  with  the  people  of  the  Norman  and  other 
tribes,  assembled  from  all  directions,  passed  over  the  sea  with  a 
fitronff  band  into  England ;  and  battle  being  joined  with  Harald 
and  his  army,  he  obtained  it  and  so  was  invested  with  the 
diadem  of  the  kingdom.  In  this  battle  William  Tisonne  fell, 
whose  brother,  to  wit,  Bichard  Tisonne  was  the  founder  of  the 

*  Ouysance :  there  axe  BtiU  remains  of  this  chapel  at  Brainshangh  on  the 

Digitized  by 



ohapel  of  the  nuns  of  Gysjns  about  A.D.  1000,  whose  father 
was  called  Gisbright  Tisonne,  founder,  to  wit,  of  the  Abbeys  of 
Malton,  Walton,  and  Bridlington.  This  Gisbright  gave  to  his 
son  Bichard,  the  yill  of  Shilbottell,  toother  wiSi  the  church  of 
Qisyng,  &c.  This  Bichard  begot  Wilham  Tisonne,  and  William 
begot  German  Tisonne,  and  German  begot  Dame  Bone  de  Hilton, 
irho  was  the  wife  of  WiHieun  de  Hilton.  In  this  way  was 
changed  the  surname  Tisonnne  into  that  of  Hilton,  and  William 
de  Hilton  begot  Alexander,  and  Alexander  begot  Sir  Bobert  de 

But  the  aforesaid  king  gave  to  Yvo  de  Vescy  his  own  knight, 
for  his  service,  for  wife,  the  only  daughter  of  William  Tisonne, 
filain  in  the  aforesaid  battle,  with  the  baronies  of  Alnewyk  and 
of  Malton,  which  before  that  time  belonged  to  Gisbright  Tisonney 
the  father  of  William  and  Eichard  Tisonne." 

Though  the  narrative  is  circumstantial,  yet  much  depend- 
ence cannot  be  placed  on  this  monkish  chronicle.  The  abbey 
was  not  founded  till  A.D.  1147,  more  than  eighty  years  after 
the  earliest  events  noticed.  Lord  Hailes,  to  whom  Dr.  Percy 
communicated  this  chronicle,  does  not  consider  its  antiquity 
gpreat.  It  contains  anachronisms  and  erroneous  statements ; 
William  Rufus,  who  died  in  1100,  is  said  to  have  given 
the  daughter  of  William  the  Lion  to  Eustace  de  Vescy ;  but 
Eustace  was  not  Lord  of  Alnwick  before  1185;  and  William 
the  Lion  is  said  to  be  the  son  of  Malcolm,  though  Malcolm 
was  slain  50  years  before  William  was  born.  Such  discrep- 
ancies detract  from  the  authority  of  the  chronicle.  The 
original  manuscript,  formerly  in  the  library  of  King's  College, 
Cambridge,  is  now  lost;  and  therefore  its  age  cannot  be 
critically  tested ;  it  is  now  chiefly  known  from  a  manuscript 
copy  preserved  in  the  British  Museum.  Written  therefore, 
probably,  at  least  three  centuries  after  the  conquest,  we  may 
expect  in  the  earlier  periods,  legends  rather  than  facts. 

To  this  monkish  statement,  Dugdale,  a  learned  and 
accurate  writer,  has  given  importance,  for  in  his  Baronage 
there  is  a  similar  account.  "Among  the  valiant  Normans  " 
says  he,  *'that  assisted  Duke  William  in  his  conquest  of 
England  were  Robert  and  Yvo  de  Vesci.  On  Yvo,  the 
conqueror  bestowed  the  daughter  and  sole  heir  of  William 
Tyson,  Lord  of  Alnewicke  in  Northumberland  and  of  Malton 
in  Yorkshire,  two  large  baronies,  both  of  them  belonging  to 
Grilbert  Tyson,  his  father  slain  in  battle  on  the  part  of  King 
Harold."*    As  evidence  of  this,  he  refers  in  his  Baronage  to 

*  Dugdale'fl  Baronage,  Vol  I.,  p.  89. 

Digitized  by 



a  document^  8th  of  Edward  II.,  whicli  he  quotes  at  length  in 
his  Monasticon  with  the  following  reference — "  Esc.  8  Edw. 
II.,  n.  6S,  in  sedula."  As  quoted  by  him  it  says — *'  William 
called  the  Bastardy  conquered  the  kingdom  of  England  by 
the  help  of  the  Normans,  among  whom  was  a  certain  yaliant 
knight,  by  name  Yvo  Vescy,  to  whom  King  William  the 
Conqueror  gave  the  daughter  of  a  certain  William  Tyson, 
Lord  of  the  Baronies  of  Alnewyc  and  of  Malton.  That 
William  Tyson  was  son  and  heir  of  a  certain  Gisbrit  Tyson, 
who  was  slain  in  war  with  King  Harold,  and  he  left  one 
daughter  and  heir  given  to  the  aforesaid  Yvo  by  the  king."* 

For  this  schedule  I  made  enquiry  at  the  Record  Office  in 
Jjondon,  but  it  could  not  be  found  there ;  it  was  probably 
nothing  more  than  some  monkish  genealogy,  which  if  un- 
supported by  adequate  evidence,  would  be  of  little  value. 

The  statements  of  Dugdale  and  the  Alnwick  Abbey  chron- 
icle are  discrepant  in  one  point ;  the  former  says  the  father 
Gisbrit  was  slain  at  Hastings  with  Harold ;  the  latter  that 
the  son  William  fell  there. 

A  different  account  is  given  in  two  manuscripts,  one  in  the 
Harleian  and  the  other  in  the  Lansdown  collection.  They 
represent  that  Gilbright  Tyson  was  Lord  of  Bridlington, 
Walton  and  Malton,  and  of  Alnewyke,  and  that  by  his  Nor- 
man wife  Beatiix  he  had  issue,  William,  Richard,  and  Agnes; 
that  William,  the  eldest  son,  fell  in  the  war  against  Harold; 
and  left  one  daughter  Alda,  who  was  bestowed  by  the  con- 
queror in  marriage  on  Yvo  de  Vescy.f 

In  another  monkish  chronicle  preserved  among  the  Har- 
leian manuscripts,  recording  events  from  A.D.  1066  to  A.D. 
1422,  Gisbright  is  named  with  his  two  sons  William  and 
Richard,  as  crossing  the  sea  from  Normandy  with  William 
the  Bastard,  and  joining  in  the  battle  fought  against  Harold. 
Hugh  de  Gaunt,  William  de  Percy,  Yvo  de  Vescy,  and  the 
one-eyed  Eustace  Fitz-John,  are  mentioned  as  their  associates 
in  this  undertaking ;  and  William  Tyson  is  said  to  have  been 
slain  in  this  battle.^ 

In  the  old  pedigrees  of  the  Hiltons,  compiled  two  or  three 
centuries  ago,  the  wife  of  William  Tyson  is  said  to  have  been 
daughter  of  Gilbert  de  Gaunt,  earl  of  Lincoln,  the  herald 
adding  to  Queen  Matilda's  nephew,  the  title  enjoyed  by  his 
grandson,  Gilbert  de  Gaunt,  in  1141. 

*  Dagdale*9  Monaitioon,  YI.,  p.  868. 
t  Harlciu  MS  8648,  fol.  6.  |  Harkian  MS  8648,  fol.  9. 

Digitized  by 



Whatever  thread  of  truth  there  may  be  in  those  discrepant 
statements^  this  seems  certain  that  the  family  of  Tysons  was 
not  Saxon^  and  that  it  did  not  hold  the  barony  of  Alnwick 
before  the  conquest.  According  to  Doomsday  fiook,  Malton 
barony,  instead  of  being  in  the  possession  of  Yvo  de  Vescy, 
in  right  of  his  wife^  as  the  heir  of  the  Tysons^  was  in  the 
hands  of  the  king  himself;  and  it  was  not  till  the  early 
part  of  the  twelfth  century,  that  it  became  the  property  of 
the  Lord  of  Alnwick  by  gift  of  King  Henry  I.  Tyson 
indeed  was  a  Norman  family.  Gislebert  followed  William 
from  Normandy,  along  with  the  Percys,  De  Vescys,  and 
other  adventurers,  to  share  in  the  plunder  of  a  conquered 
nation ;  he  was  the  great  standard  bearer  of  William,  and 
his  name  is  thus  subscribed  to  a  charter  between  A.D.  1066 
and  A.D.  1069,  granting  lands  to  the  monks  of  Selby. 
Doomsday  Book  evidences  that  he  was  a  feudatory  under 
King  William,  and  held  numerous  manors  in  the  East  and 
West  Ridings  of  Yorkshire.  Gislebert  Tyson  seems  to  have 
descended  from  the  powerful  house  of  Tesson,  lords  of  a  tract 
of  country  in  the  department  Du  Calvados,  known  as  Le 
Cinglais,  of  which  Thury-Harcourt  is  the  capital.  The 
name  is  neither  Saxon  nor  Danish,  but  Norman — Taisson 
being  a  soubriquet  given  to  the  lords  of  Cinglais,  signifying 
a  badger.* 

We  are  therefore  entirely  ignorant  of  the  lords  of  Alnwick 
before  the  conquest ;  nor  is  there  any  evidence  of  the  exist- 
ence of  a  castle  there  at  that  period.  Glrose  and  others  refer 
to  the  zigzag  fretwork  round  the  arch  of  the  keep  of  the 
present  castle,  as  "evidently  of  Saxon  architecture;**  this 
style  of  architecture,  however,  is  certainly  Norman ;  and  the 
arch  is  not  earlier  than  the  twelfth  century. 

Notices  we  have  of  Warkworth,  Whittingham,  Edling- 
ham,  and  Eglingham  with  their  churches,  and  of  Bamburgh 
with  its  church  and  castle  during  Anglo-Saxon  times ;  but 
of  Alnwick  during  that  period  there  is  no  record.  The 
names,  however,  of  vills,  farm  houses,  and  hamlets  within 
the  district,  shew  that  an  Anglo-Saxon  population  settled 
there  not  long  after  the  establishment  of  the  kingdom  of 
North-humberland  by  Ida  in  647;  and  the  name  of  Aln- 
wick itself  being  of  true  Anglo-Saxon  formation,  proves 

*  Stapleton*8  Notes  to  the  Plampton  Correspondence,  p.  10.  Mr.  W.  H.  D. 
Longstafie,  F.8.A.,  also  discusses  the  qnestion  with  Abiliiy  in  a  paper  on  the 
Church  of  Guysance. 

Digitized  by 



that  a  vill  or  town  stood  on  the  same  site  long  before  the 
conquest.  Rude  men  the  Angles  were^  who  wrested  North- 
umberland from  the  Ancient  Britons^  yet  they  brought  with 
them  the  free  institutions  of  the  Teutonic  race ;  and  this  was 
seen  in  the  tenures  on  which  the  lands  were  parcelled  out 
among  the  early  settlers.  The  smallest  political  division  was 
the  mark — the  plot  of  land  in  some  fruitful  plain  or  valley 
by  the  side  of  a  stream — of  which  a  family  or  little  commu- 
nity took  possession.  This  corresponded  somewhat  with  our 
modernjtownship;  each  freeman  had  his  alod,  or  free  estate  of 
arable  and  pasture  land,  which  he  could  alienate  or  transfer 
as  he  willed  by  charter,  and  hence  it  was  called  boc-land. 
But  in  the  earlier  times  great  forests  and  wastes  surrounded 
the  cleared  land  of  the  settlement ;  and  these,  because  form- 
ing the  boundary,  were  called  mark-lands ;  they  were  not 
appropriated  to  individuals,  but  were  reserved  as  the  common 
property  of  the  settlement,  where  all  could  depasture  their 
cattle,  and  whence  all  could  obtain  wood  and  other  products 
of  the  forest  and  moor-lands.  They  were  the  people's  property 
and  could  not  be  alienated,  and  hence  were  called  ybfc-fanrf«. 
Somewhat  of  sacredness  and  mystery  hung  round  this  land ; 
in  the  time  of  heathendom,  it  was  under  the  protection  of  the 
gods  ;  and  accursed  were  they  who  removed  its  land  marks  : 
after  Christianity  was  introduced,  portions  of  it  were  separ- 
ated to  build  and  endow  churches.  To  some  peculiar  burdens 
it  was  subject,  such  as  the  repair  of  royal  vills,  bridges,  and 
other  public  works,  the  entertainment  of  kings  and  great 
men  when  progressing  through  the  country,  and  the  reward- 
ing of  great  public  services.*  Though  much  of  this  land  was 
in  Saxon  times  converted  into  boc-land — ^yet  some  portions 
survived  the  revolutionary  sweep  of  the  Norman  conquest, 
and  existed  down  to  a  recent  period.  The  commons  or 
moors,  over  which  the  inhabitants  of  several  villages  and 
towns  had  commonable  rights,  are  remains  of  these  folc-lands,t 
the  people's  inheritance,  derived  from  their  Saxon  forefiithers. 
Several  of  such  commons  were  in  this  neighbourhood ;  they 
were  at  Shieldykes,  Denwick,  Rugley,  Shilbottle,  Charlton, 
Sennington,  Bilton,  Tuggall,  Lucker,  Longhoughton,  Les- 
bury,  Acklington,  Alnham,  Chatton,  Rothbury ;  and  even  now 
we  have  remains  of  them  at  Alnmouth,  Wooler,  and  Alnwick. 
Kemble  thinks  that  the  ancient  marks  may  still  be  traced 
by  the  names  of  places  ending  in  den,  holt,  wood,  hurst,  and 

•  Allen's  Inquiry,  p.  143.  f  Lappenberg,  p.  826. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


faldi  wbich  denote  forests  and  outlying  pastures  in  woods;* 
and  this  to  some  extent  we  may  do  with  Alnwick ;  on  the 
west  we  have  the  forest  of  Hay-6fe»  and  the  moor  of  Hay- 
den^  now  Alnwick  Moor ;  on  the  north  we  have  Hin-c^ ; 
on  the  east^  2>6n-wick ;  on  the  south-east^  Scot-yb/e^-haugh, 
now  Hesleyside ;  and  on  the  south  2>e»-moor. 

Small  and  insignificant,  however,  would  the  town  itself 
be  daring  the  Saxon  period,  for  population  then  was  not 
centralised ;  it  resembled  more  one  of  our  old  villages  than 
a  compact  borough,  and  consisted  of  scattered  home-steads  or 
tofts,  so  called  from  tufts  of  trees  overhanging  them,  built  of 
wood  and  wattles  and  covered  with  thatch,  and  standing 
apart,  each  on  its  own  little  garth  or  croft.  No  great  stone 
castle  would  be  there  looking  coldly  and  sternly  down  on 
these  humble  dwellings ;  the  thane's  mansio  would  be  there, 
little  different  in  structure,  but  larger  than  the  other  houses 
and  probably  defended  by  its  stockade  and  ditch.  The 
Saxons  caring  more  for  the  pleasures  of  the  table,  for 
gluttonous  eating  and  excessive  drinking,  than  for  artistic 
dwellings,  were  contented  with  houses  which  were  frail 
and  perishable.  Beda  in  relating  one  of  the  wonderful 
miracles^  said  to  have  been  wrought  by  earth  taken  from 
the  spot  where  Saint  Oswald  fell  at  Maserfield,  incident- 
ally furnishes  information  of  the  character  of  their  ordinary 
houses.  A  traveller  passing  over  this  spot  observing  how 
much  more  beautiful  it  was  than  the  rest  of  the  field,  took 
some  of  the  earth  and  tied  it  in  a  linen  cloth,  believing 
from  the  superior  holiness  of  him  who  fell  there,  that  it 
would  be  of  use  in  curing  diseases.  At  night  he  came  to  a 
village  where  the  people  were  at  supper,  and  hung  the  cloth 
on  a  post  against  the  wall ;  a  great  fire  W(i9  in  the  middle  of 
the  room,  from  which  after  a  time,  the  sparks  flew  upward 
and  caught  the  top  of  the  house,  which  being  made  of  wattles 
and  thatch  was  presently  in  a  flame,  and  the  whole  house 
was  burnt  excepting  the  post  on  which  the  holy  earth  was 
hung.  The  whole  structure  must  have  been  of  wood,  wattles, 
and  thatch.f 

Early  Norman  charters  and  inquisitions  reflect  a  light 
backward,  and  give  us  some  glimpses  of  the  general  condition 
of  the  district  during  the  Saxon  period.  The  population  was 
scattered  in  small  vills  and  hamlets  at  some  distance  from 

•  Kexnble*8  Saxons  in  England,  Vol.  I.,  p.  480. 
f  Beda'fl  Ecclesiastical  History. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


each  other,  standing  on  cleared  and  cultivated  ground  in  the 
midst  of  moor-lands  and  forests.  Every  vill  had  at  least  ten 
families  of  freemen — ^proprietors  of  land — forming  the  ancient 
tithing.  On  the  south  side  of  the  Aln,  was  the  largest  vill 
of  Alnwick  with  its  folc-land  of  Hayden;  further  southward 
was  the  vill  of  Rugley  with  it«  moor  or  common  land ;  and 
beyond  this  were  the  Scheles  *  with  the  moor  or  common  of 
Swinleys.  Bertewellf  had  less  than  ten  families  and  was  but 
a  hamlet  and  had  no  common  of  its  own,  but  enjoyed  rights 
over  Hayden  along  with  the  men  of  Alnwick.  Less  informa- 
tion we  nave  of  the  north  side  of  the  Aln,  for  a  considerable 
portion  was  granted  at  an  early  Norman  period  to  abbeys ; 
but  there  we  have  the  vill  of  Denwick  with  its  moor  or  folc- 
land  ;  and  the  vill  of  Hincliff  with  its  moor  or  common,  and 
its  wood  extending  from  Hinden  to  the  Aln.  The  popula- 
tion was  agricultural  and  warlike ;  every  free-man  who  tilled 
his  own  grounds,  was  ready  with  his  strong  arm  and  bold 
spirit  to  defend  the  hearth,  the  home,  and  the  land  he  held 
as  his  own,  against  agressors. 

Alnwick  seems  during  this  period  to  have  been  in  some 
degree  dependent  on  and  subordinate  to  Lesbury.  In  the 
twelfth  century,  Alnwick  Church,  as  well  as  those  of  Long- 
houghton  and  Alnmouth,  was  a  chapelry  under  Lesbury; 
and  it  was  also  so  returned  in  the  Taxatio  Ecclesiastica  in 
the  fourteenth  century.  May  not  Lesbuiy  have  been  the 
principal  town  in  the  district,  where  the  greatest  Thane  had 
his  burh  or  fortified  dwelling  ?  A  situation  with  so  genial  a 
climate,  such  productive  land,  and  so  well  sheltered,  would 
be  among  the  first  occupied  by  the  Angles.  And  here,  where 
the  lord  lived,  would  rise  the  first  Christian  church,  which 
for  some  time  might  serve  for  the  district  around;  but  as 
population  increased,  new  chapels  would  be  erected  at  Aln- 
wick and  other  places,  which  would  be  served  by  ministers 
sent  from  the  parent  church.  The  name  Lesbury  favours  the 
pre-eminence  of  the  place,  for  the  termination  byrigy  modern- 
ised into  huryy  indicates  a  town  of  some  importance. 

Saxon  relics  have  not,  so  far  as  I  know,  been  found  within 
the  parish  of  Alnwick.  No  sepulchres  have  been  discovered, 
nor  traces  of  Saxon  habitations.  Remains  indeed  of  this 
period  have  seldom  been  observed  in  Northumberland;  but 
probably,  as  our  present  towns,  villages,  and  church-yards 
occupy  the  sites  of  those  existing  in  Saxon  times,  the  remains 

•  Now  Shieldykes.  f  Now  Hobberlaw. 

Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 




Digitized  by 



of  that  period  may  have  been  obliterated  by  the  frequent 
re-building  of  houses  and  repeated  interments  in  the  grave- 
yards, during  the  course  of  the  last  eight  centuries.  The 
Saxons  however,  were  not  great  builders  of  castles  or  camps  ; 
they  relied  more  on  their  strong  arms  and  warlike  spirit. 

A  few  churches  were  built  of  stone.  Hexham  Church, 
erected  by  Wilfred,  was  the  wonder  of  the  age,  with  its 
pillars  and  arches  and  substantial  masonry ;  but  this  famous 
work  was  not  the  production  of  native  workmen,  but  of  arti- 
ficers brought  from  Rome.  Churches  of  stone  were,  we 
know,  at  Warkworth  and  Whittingham  ;  of  the  former,  the 
foundations  were  laid  bare  in  1859,  revealing  stones  similar 
to  a  few  built  into  the  walls ;  and  the  fragment  of  a  cross, 
ornamented  with  knot  or  interlacing  work,  characteristic  of 
the  period,  occurred.  There  still,  however,  is  to  be  seen  at 
Whittingham,  the  under  part  of  the  Saxon  tower.  Double 
windows  divided  by  a  rude  balustre,  existed  in  this  tower  as 
late  as  A.D.  1840;  and  even  now  the  peculiar  long  and 
short  work  at  the  comers,  and  the  rude,  though  durable 
rubble  masonry  of  the  walls,  mark  this  as  an  interesting 
relic  of  the  architecture  of  our  Saxon  forefathers.  Frag- 
ments of  Saxon  crosses  have  also  been  found  at  Norham, 
Lindisfame,  and  at  Rothbury. 

But  the  most  interesting  Saxon  remain  is  the  shaft  of  a 
cross  which  was  found  in  1789  near  to  the  the  ruins  of  the 
ancient  church  of  Alnmouth;*  and  as  that  little  ancient 
burgh  town  has  been  intimately  connected  with  Alnwick  as 
its  seaport,  and  as  moreover,  the  cross  is  preserved  in  Aln- 
wick Castle  Museum,  I  shall  give  an  illustrative  drawing 
and  description  of  this  relic  of  the  Saxon  time — Plate  III. 

This  fragment  consists  of  two  slabs  of  sandstone,  the 
faces  and  ends  of  which  are  entirely  covered  with  sculptures 
and  inscriptions ;  the  sculptures  are  in  low  relief,  and  the 
inscriptions  are  incised.  The  whole  is  8  feet  10  inches 
in  height ;  16  inches  broad  at  the  base  and  14^  inches  at 
the  top ;  and  7  inches  in  thickness  at  the  base  and  6  inches 

*  It  has  been  often  repeated  that  this  was  called  "  Woden's  Church"  from  the 
Saxon  divinity,  and  that  it  was  founded  on  the  site  of  one  of  his  temples ;  this 
however,  is  but  a  modern  and  very  groundless  £uicy ;  a  Christian  churoh  would 
not  bear  the  name  of  a  heathen  god ;  and  moreoTer,  the  present  name  of  the 
village  of  Wooden  which  has  been  adduced  in  support  of  the  fancy  is  compara- 
tively modem,  though  probably,  having  a  similar  meaning  with  the  more  ancient 
name*  which  in  chatters  and  inquisitions  appears  in  1333  as  WaUen,  and  in  1396 
as  WoUen,  from  the  Anglo-Saxon  Weald,  wood-land. 

Digitized  by 



at  the  top.  One  fiEU^e  represents  the  crucifixion ;  our  Lord 
is  extended  on  the  cross,  and  above  him  are  the  sun  and 
moon ;  the  two  thieves  are  at  his  side  a  little  below ;  and 
at  the  foot  are  two  of  his  executioners.  Above  this  represen- 
tation is  an  inscription  now  considerably  obliterated;  the 

letters  . . . . VDW E. . ,  ,FE. . . .  can  be  made  out ; 

Mr.  Haigh  however,  sees  more  than  this,  and  reads  the 
whole,  "Hhludwyg  me  fixed."  The  other  face  is  chiefly- 
filled  with  knot  or  interlacing  work ;  but  there  is  the  follow- 
ing inscription  in  one  line  which  is  in  good  preservation, 
''MYREDEH  MEH  WO;"  that  is  ^^Myredeh  me  wrought;" 
being  the  name  of  the  sculptor  of  the  stone.  On  one  of  the 
sides  there  is  an  inscription  m  two  lines, "  AEDVLFES  TH;" 
and  on  the  other  there  is  another  much  defaced,  of  which  I 
can  trace  with  distinctness  . . .  ,AV. . . . ;  but  Mr.  Haigh  has 
read  it  SAVL.  The  letters  are  mostly  Roman,  though  a 
few  are  Saxon  runes.  The  names  of  the  artists  are  however, 
not  Anglo-Saxon  nor  even  Teutonic,  but  Celtic ;  Mr.  Haigh 
says  undoubtedly  Irish.  The  number  of  very  fine  crosses  of 
a  similar  character  in  Ireland,  would  shew  that  the  art  of 
sculpture  on  stone  had  been  cultivated  there ;  and  possibly 
skilled  men  from  that  country  may  have  travelled  about 
England  to  execute  similar  works.  The  inscriptions  are 
imperfect ;  the  workmen  we  know  ;  but  it  can  only  be  con- 
jectured, for  whom  this  cross  was  erected.  Mr.  Haigh 
thinks  it  probable,  that  when  complete,  the  inscription 
would  read  '^This  is  King  Eadulfs  grave.  Pray  for  his 
soul."  It  may  have  been  erected  to  Eadulf,  who,  on  the 
death  of  Alfired,  king  of  Northumberland,  in  705,  usurped 
the  throne;  and  who,  after  besieging  Berchtfred,  the  guardian 
of  the  young  King  Osdred  in  Bamburgh,  was  repulsed,  put 
to  flight,  and  slain.* 


The  inroads  of  the  Northmen  or  Danish  sea  kings,  intro- 
duced a  new  population  into  some  parts  of  Britain,  and  for 
some  time  England  was  under  Danish  government.  From 
the  latter  part  of  the  eighth  century  down  to  the  eleventh 
century,  the  coast  of  England  was  seldom  free  firom  the 
ravages  of  these  daring  and  ruthless  pirates.  Even  to  the 
present  day  there  is  a  traditionary  horror  of  their  power  and 
cruelty  ;  and  it  has  been  common  to  attribute  to  them,  with- 
out any  sufficient  grounds,  the  camps  and  earth-works  of  this 

•  Aiohsologift  JBliana,  I.,  pp.  178^  180. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


district.  No  remains  of  an  undoubted  Danish  character  have 
been  found.  The  Danes  do  not  seem^  however,  to  have 
settled  in  any  considerable  numbers  in  this  countv;  they 
swept  over  it  like  a  tempest  in  iitful  gusts,  and  rather 
destroyed  than  occupied  the  land.  Frequent  references  are 
made  m  history  as  to  their  settlement  in  Northumberland ; 
but  we  must  distinguish  between  the  ancient  Saxon  kingdom 
of  North-humber-land  and  the  modem  county  of  that  name ; 
for  while  the  former  always  included  the  counties  between 
the  Humber  and  the  Tweed,  and  sometimes  the  whole  dis- 
trict between  the  Humber  and  the  Forth,  the  modem  North- 
umberland is  limited  to  the  eastern  district  between  the  Tyne 
and  the  Tweed.  It  was  in  the  southern  part  of  this  kingdom, 
in  the  old  province  of  Deira,  that  Danish  settlements  were 
made,  rather  than  in  the  northern  province  of  Bemicia.  A 
dominant  population  leaves  its  impress  on  a  country  in  the 
names  of  places ;  but  while  in  North  Northumberland,  the 
Anglo-Saxon  terminations  of  harriy  wick,  ton,  toorth,  bottle, 
applied  to  towns  and  villages  are  common,  the  distinctive 
Danish  names  of  by,  thorpe,  thtoaite,  applied  to  towns,  do 
not  occur ;  nor  isfeli  applied  to  mountains,  and  there  is  only 
one  case  of  beck — ^in  the  river  Wansbeck.  Danish  popula- 
tions were  chiefly  located  in  Lincolnshire,  Yorkshire,  West- 
moreland, and  Cumberland.  As  we  recede  northward  on 
the  eastern  side  of  the  island,  the  traces  of  the  Danes  become 
fainter;  in  Lincolnshire  there  are  212  names  of  places  ending 
in  by  and  63  in  thorpe ;  in  Yorkshire  there  are  167  in  by, 
87  in  thorpe,  and  9  in  thwaite;  but  in  Durham  there  are 
only  7  in  fty  and  7  in  thorpe,  and  in  Northumberland  there 
is  i  in  thorpe  and  none  in  by,*  But  while  there  is  no 
evidence  of  extensive  settlements  of  Danes  in  Northumber- 
land, the  use  of  several  words  of  Danish  origin  in  the  common 
speech  of  the  district  around  Alnwick,  proves  that  there  was 
a  sprinkling  of  Danes  among  the  Anglo-Saxon  population. 
I  have  strung  together  a  few  sentences  in  language  used  in 
the  district,  to  show  how  mixed  our  common  speech  is  with 
the  Northmen's  dialect,  and  I  have  put  in  italics  those  of 
Danish  origin. 

Johnsen  leived  in  a  sma'  farm-stead  whuch  he  had /ra  his/or«- 
elders;  it  wa(b  a  poor  bit  place  covered  wi'  thack  and  had  a  steyan 
riggen.  The  stack-yar/A  had  a  hedge  roond  it,  whuch  Johnsen 
had  nicely  clipped.    He  drove  oot  some  stois  and  nowth  beasts, 

•  Wonaae's  Danes  in  England. 

Digitized  by 



and  then  set  to  wark  to  lift  the  mitck  in,  the  midden  wi'  a  grape 
into  a  cart  whuch  had  Strang  limmers.  He  then  set  off  to  the 
loft  and  stable  and  put  hay  into  the  heck,  and  com  into  the  cribs. 
He  went  doon  the  toon  geyt  to  the  emxddyy  where  the  smith  was 
hammering  away  on  his  studdy  wi'  his  eark  sleeves  rouled  up,  an 
speered  if  he  minded  to  mend  the  door  heap ;  he  said  he  had'nt. 
Well,  said  Johnsen,  ye'll  hev  to^iV  if  ye  dinna  mind  better ;  last 
time  aw  was  here — Cnm  now,  said  the  smith,  dinna  rip  up  and 
grievances;  aw'll  uphaud  that  yees  hev  the  heap  the  mom's  night, 
and  when  aw  bring  it  to  ye,  ye'll  stand  a  nip  o'  brandy.  "W^en 
ganging  hame,  Johnsen  heard  the  gowk  crj  ku-ku,  and  saw  lots 
o'  burds  picking  up  worms  wi'  their  nebe.  His  house  he  iand 
ftnred  up,  for  his  wife  was  but  a  eackless  stumpy  body ;  she  had 
her  gown  kilted  up  and  was  kerning  butter ;  the  baime  were  dam- 
mering  ane  through  other;  yen  who  had  been  greeting  because 
her  frock  had  been  rived  wi'  a  slaw-ihomf  was  now  glowering 
at  the  reek  ganging  up  the  chimley;  another  was  playing  with  the 
kittlin  on  her  knee.  A  bigger  yen  was  redden  another's  hair  wi'  a 
redden-caym,  and  crying,  when  she  was  restless,  sit  still  or  aw'll 
gar  ye !  Two  frem-Jblke  came  in  and  speered  their  road ;  the  wife 
bid  them  sit  down  and  bide  a  bit.  They  said  they  had  oome 
through  a  field  for  nearness  and  were  veny  near  nabbed  for  tres- 
paasin,  and  so  had  to  run  for  it.  The  wife  then  gave  them  kirn- 
milk  to  elockken  their  drought ;  but  the  wooden  bicker  was  not 
tight  and  the  milk  was  eiping  out.  They  pleased  the  little  baim 
by  gieing  her  a  neif-fuU  of  nuts.  They  could'nt  bide  lang  as  they 
had  far  to  go,  and  it  was  likely  they  would  hev  a  murky  night. 

Towards  the  close  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  period^  when  much 
of  the  folc-land  was  appropriated  to  individuals,  when  free- 
men's rights  were  curtailed  and  their  condition  depressed^ 
and  when  the  estates  of  thanes  or  lords  were  greatly  extended, 
the  nation  was  weakened  and  became  a  prey  to  civil  dissen- 
sion and  foreign  invasion.  The  results  were  disastrous,  and 
teach  a  warning  lesson  to  our  own  times.  **  Nothing  "  says 
Kemble,  ''can  be  more  clear  than  that  the  universal  breaking 
up  of  society  in  the  time  of  ^thelred,  had  its  source  in  the 
ruin  of  the  old  organisation  of  the  country.  The  successes 
of  Swegen  and  Cnut,  and  even  of  William  the  Norman,  had 
much  deeper  causes  than  the  mere  gain  or  loss  of  one  or  more 
battles.  A  nation  never  falls  till  the  citadel  of  its  moral 
being  has  been  betrayed  and  become  untenable.  Northern 
invasions  will  not  account  for  the  state  of  brigandage  which 
jEthelred  and  his  witan  deplore  in  so  many  of  their  laws. 
The  ruin  of  the  free  cultivators  and  the  overgrowth  of  the 
lords  are  much  more  likely  causes."* 

*  Kemb]e*8  Saxons  in  England,  p.  807. 

Digitized  by 



TYSON  AND  DE  VE80T  PEEIOD,  FROM  1066  TO  1297. 


The  Norman  conquest  in  A.D.  1066  effected  a  sudden 
change  in  the  condition  of  England  and  in  the  distribution 
of  property.  A  nation  was  trodden  under  foot ;  most  of  her 
nobles  were  slain  or  driven  into  exile ;  and  her  people  were 
stript  of  their  possessions  and  reduced  to  poverty  or  slavery. 
The  lands  wrested  from  the  Anglo-Saxons  were  bestowed  by 
"William  the  Conqueror  on  the  needy  adventurers,  who  for 
the  hope  of  plimder,  had  followed  his  standard.  One  battle 
had  the  effect  of  founding  a  new  dynasty  and  revolutionising 
property.  Though  stem,  cruel,  and  unscrupulous,  the  Nor- 
man king  was  a  statesman  as  well  as  a  warrior,  and  he  knew 
how  to  keep  what  he  had  conquered.  For  this  purpose  he 
established  in  England  strict  feudal  law;  and  the  great  survey 
of  the  country,  which  he  ordered,  is  supposed  to  have  been 
made  with  a  view  to  the  full  establishment  of  that  system. 
"The  king,"  says  the  Saxon  chronicle,  *'had  a  great  consul- 
tation and  spoke  very  deeply  concerning  the  land,  how  it 
was  held  and  what  were  its  tenantry.    He  then  sent  his  men 

Digitized  by 



over  all  England  into  every  shire^  and  caused  tbem  to  ascer- 
tain how  many  hundred  hides  it  contained,  and  what  lands 
the  king  possessed  thereon,  what  cattle  there  were  in  the 
several  counties,  and  how  much  revenue  he  ought  to  receive 
yearly  from  each.  He  also  caused  them  to  write  down  how 
much  land  belonged  to  his  archbishops,  to  his  bishops,  his 
abbots,  and  his  earls.  What  property  every  inhabitant 
possessed  in  land  or  in  castle,  and  how  much  money  this 
was  worth.  So  very  narrowly  did  he  cause  this  survey  to  be 
made,  that  there  was  not  a  single  hide  nor  a  rood  of  land 
nor — it  is  shameful  to  relate  that  which  he  thought  no  shame 
to  do — was  there  an  ox,  or  a  cow,  or  a  pig  passed  by,  and 
was  not  set  down  in  the  accounts."  This  was  Doomsday 
Book,  a  valuable  record  giving  information  not  only  of  the 
Norman  feudatories  and  of  the  extent  of  their  possessions, 
but  in  many  cases  of  the  previous  Saxon  proprietors.  The 
survey  however,  did  not  include  the  northern  counties,  prob- 
ably on  account  of  their  wasted  and  unsettled  condition. 
We  do  not,  therefore,  know  from  authentic  authority,  either 
what  Saxon  held  Alnwick  prior  to  the  conquest,  or  what 
Norman  was  its  first  lord. 

The  statement  in  the  chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey,  that 
Yvo  de  Vescy  received  from  the  conqueror  the  gift  of  the 
barony  of  Alnwick  is  certainly  erroneous.  His  name  does 
not  occur  amongst  those  who  came  with  William  from  Nor- 
mandy ;  and  judging  from  the  date  of  the  decease  of  his  son- 
in-law,  Eustace  Fitz-John,  in  1157 — ^ninety-one  years  after 
the  conquest — it  is  evident,  that  Yvo  de  Vescy  must  have 
been  a  mere  child  when  that  event  took  place.  We  cannot 
therefore  suppose,  that  he  was  in  possession  of  the  barony 
earlier  than  1096,  thirty  years  after  the  conquest.  Who 
during  this  interval  was  Lord  of  Alnwick  ?  This  can  only  be 
conjectured.  So  much  truth  there  may  be  in  the  legendary 
accounts  as  to  give  probability  to  the  opinion  that  Gislebert 
Tyson  was  the  first  Norman  lord ;  and  to  him — ^his  standard 
bearer,  who  was  a  great  military  officer — the  Conqueror  may 
have  given  manors  north  of  the  Tyne,  especially  as  the 
district  was  turbulent  and  far  from  the  seat  of  government. 
Mr.  Stapleton  suggests,  that  Robert  de  Mowbray  the  first 
Norman  Earl  of  Northumberland  may  have  influenced  Tyson 
to  share  in  his  rebellion  against  the  king  in  1095,  wnich 
ended  in  the  expulsion,  from  their  seignories,  of  many  Nor- 
man barons  whom  the  chroniclers  omit  to  name.*    We  know 


^  Plumpton  CormpondMiM,  p.  1 1. 

Digitized  by 



that  Tyson's  vast  estates  in  Yorkshire,  which  he  held  in 
capite^  were  forfeited  about  this  period ;  and  most  of  them 
were  granted  to  Nigel  de  Albini.  Some  time  afterwards, 
Gislebert  Tyson  was  restored  to  grace,  and  reinstated  in  the 
possession  of  Holme-upon-Spaldmgmore ;  but  the  glory  of 
the  family  had  passed  away ;  they  lost  their  original  (Ugnified 
tenure,  and  occupied  the  humbler  position  of  sub-feudatories 
under  Nigel  de  Albini.  Even  this  result  was  not  attained 
without  expense ;  for  Adam,  the  eldest  son  and  heir  of  Gisle* 
bert,  accounted  in  1131  for  his  father's  debts  and  for  a  fine 
to  plead  for  his  lands,  imtU  the  son  of  Nigel  de  Albini,  who 
assumed  the  name  of  Boger  de  Mowbray,  was  a  knight.  In 
the  Liber  Niger,  we  find  that  William  Tyson,  the  son  of 
Adam,  held  in  1168,  fifteen  knights'  fees  under  Mowbray. 
Besides  Adam,  Gislebert  Tyson  had  a  younger  son,  Richard, 
to  whom  very  probably,  when  he  held  the  barony  of  Alnwick, 
were  granted  the  vills  of  Shilbottle,  Hazon,  Newton,  Ben- 
nington and  Broxfield,  and  the  church  of  Guyzance,  as  this 
Bichard  and  his  descendants  were  in  possession  of  these 
estates.  Not  only  is  this  referred  to  in  the  chronicle  of  Aln- 
wick Abbey,  but  it  is  more  fully  stated  in  the  charter  of 
Eustace  Fitz-John  to  Alnwick  Abbey  in  1147,  which  "con- 
firmed the  churchof  St.  Wilfred  of  Gysnes,  that  Bichard  Tysone 
gave  to  the  canons  of  the  abbey  in  perpetual  alms,  with  one 
measure  and  two  ox-gangs  of  land  in  the  same  vill,  and  with 
Halghe  where  the  church  is,  with  Bidlei,  and  with  Morwick- 
halghe,  as  Bichard  granted  to  them."  To  this  confirmation 
Bichard  himself  was  one  of  the  witnesses.  The  manors  held 
by  Bichard  imder  the  Alnwick  barony  were  to  the  extent  of 
two  knights'  fees,  being  the  sixth  part  of  that  barony  ;  and 
these  passed  to  his  descendants.  In  the  Liber  Niger,  Wil- 
liam his  son  is  named  as  possessing  them  in  A.D.  1168,  as  of 
ancient  feoffinent,  that  is,  granted  before  the  year  1185«  The 
descendants  of  Bichard  were  in  possession  of  these  estates  in 
42nd  Edward  III.,  (1369,)  when  Bobert  de  Hilton,  who  was 
descended  firom  Tyson  through  Bone  the  grand-daughter  of 
William,  held  the  vills  Schilbotell,  Haysand,  Gysens,  and 
of  Benyngton  and  five-tenth  parts  of  the  hamlet  of  Brokes- 
field  of  Henry  Percy  by  service  of  two  inights'  fees  and  one- 
fourteenth  of  a  fee.  -There  is  no  authentic  record  of  Gislebert 
having  a  son  called  William,  and  therefore  the  statement, 
often  repeated,  that  Alda,  the  daughter  of  this  William,  was 

*  In  ehkf,  or  directly  from  the  king. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


given  in  marriage  by  William  the  Bastard  to  Yvo  de  Veecy 
in  reward  of  his  services,  must  be  regarded  as  a  myth. 

Prior  however  to  Mowbray's  rebellion,  Alnwick  was  the 
scene  of  a  memorable  event.  Northumberland,  being  border 
land,  has  often  been  the  battle  field  on  which  the  prowess 
of  England  and  Scotland  was  tried.  The  Roman  wall,  at 
an  early  period,  cut  it  off  from  England ;  the  ancient  Saxon 
kingdom  of  North-humberland  had  undefined  limits,  some- 
times extending  into  Scotland  as  far  as  the  Forth ;  while  on 
the  other  hand,  the  Scots,  at  a  later  period,  had  claims  both 
over  it  and  Cumberland;  it  hence  became  debateable  ground, 
and  gave  rise  to  complications  which  treaties  could  not  un- 
loose, but  which  were  rudely  cut  through  by  the  sword. 

Malcolm  Caenmore  or  Great  Head,  who  was  king  of  Scot- 
land when  William  conquered  England,  had  married  Mar- 
garet, the  sister  of  Edgar  Atheling,  the  true  heir  to  the 
English  throne;  his  sympathies  were,  therefore,  with  the 
oppressed  Saxon  nobles,  many  of  whom  found  refuge  with 
him  in  Scotland.  Five  times  did  Malcolm  enter  Northum- 
berland with  an  army  and  waste  it  with  cruel  pillage.*  In 
one  of  these  raids,  in  A.D.  1070,  after  desolating  the  land 
and  destroying  the  weak  and  old,  he  carried  away  the  robust 
and  condemned  them  to  slavery,  in  such  numbers,  that  there 
was  scarcely  a  house  in  Scotland  but  possessed  an  English 
male  or  female  slave.f  The  king  of  liigland,  employed  at 
this  time  in  crushing  the  brave  efforts  of  the  noble  Hereward 
in  behalf  of  national  freedom  in  the  isle  of  Ely,  could  not 
take  his  usual  vigorous  methods  to  check  the  Scottish  king. 
As  soon  however,  as  he  was  in  possession  of  Ely,  he  marched 
with  an  army  into  Scotland ;  and  at  Abemethy  was  met  by 
Malcolm  with  an  army  of  equal  strength:  Since  the  victory 
at  Hastily,  which  gave  him  a  throne,  William  was  unwilling 
to  place  his  power  on  the  hazard  of  a  general  engagement. 
He  therefore,  was  more  ready  to  negotiate  than  to  fight ;  and 
a  treaty  was  concluded,  by  which  Malcolm  agreed  to  do 
homage  for  the  lands  he  held  in  England;  and  William 
agreed  to  receive  Edgar  Atheling  with  favour  and  to  grant 
him  an  honourable  establishment.  For  a  time  the  tide  of 
war  was  rolled  back  from  the  Borders. 

Displeased  with  the  usurpation  of  William  Rufus,  Mal- 
colm, after  the  conqueror's  death,  made  another  raid  into  the 
county  and  carried  off  great  booty ;  but  when  Rufus  was 

•  Simeon  Danel  ilist  p.  21 S.  f  Knyghton,  p.  2384. 

Digitized  by 



prepared  to  avenge  the  wrong,  peace  was  concluded  through 
the  mediation  of  Bobert,  the  brother  of  the  king  of  England 
and  Edgar  Atheling ;  it  being  agreed  that  Malcolm  should 
hold  the  same  lands  in  England  as  he  held  under  the  Con- 
queror, but  that  he  should  do  homage  for  them  to  Bufus. 
When  Malcolm  however,  according  to  agreement  attended 
the  king  of  England's  court  at  Gloucester,  he  was  treated 
with  so  much  insolence  and  disdain  by  the  haughty  Rufiis, 
that  he  returned  to  Scotland  breathing  vengeance.  Nor  did 
he  suffer  his  resentment  long  to  sleep ;  but  summoning  his 
men  to  arms,  he,  along  with  Edward  his  eldest  son  and  heir 
to  his  throne,  burst  across  the  Borders  in  the  winter  of  A.D. 
1093,  and  pillaged  the  northern  parts  of  Northumberland 
and  destroyed  it  by  fire  as  far  as  Alnwick.  But  while  he 
and  his  army  lay  on  St.  Brice's  Day,  the  18th  of  November, 
in  fancied  security,  on  high  moor  ground  sloping  to  the  river 
Aln,  one  mile  northward  of  Alnwick,*  the  hour  was  drawing 
nigh  when  vengeance  would  overtake  him  on  the  scene  which 
his  ravages  had  made  desolate.  Bobert  de  Mowbray  was  at 
this  time  official  earl  of  Northumberland  and  governor  of 
Bamburgh  Castle,  and  on  him  devolved  the  defence  of  the 
county.  He  raised  as  many  forces  as  he  could,  and  was 
aided  by  Morel,  a  courageous  knight,  his  steward  or  sheriff 
and  godfather  of  Malcolm  himself.  Finding,  probably,  that 
his  little  band  could  not  cope  in  the  open  field  with  the  huge 
army  of  the  king  of  Scotland,  Mowbray  had  recourse  to 
stratagem ;  and  making  a  sudden  attack,  probably  from  an 

*  From  the  waift  of  concurrence  in  ancient  chronicles,  douhta  have  heen  enters 
tained  both  as  regards  the  place  where  Malcolm  fell  and  the  manner  of  his  death. 
The  Saxon  chronicle  says  that  Robert,  earl  of  Northumberland,  with  his  men 
lay  in  wait  for  him;  that  he  was  slain  anawares  by  Morsel  the  earl's  steward  and 
Malcolm's  godfather,  and  Uiat  his  son  Edward  was  hilled  with  him:  Malmesbury, 
that  he  was  despatched  by  the  party  of  Robert,  earl  of  Northumberland,  rather 
through  stratagem  than  force :  Wendover,  that  he  and  his  son  were  intercepted 
and  slain.  Simeon  says  he  with  his  first-bom  were  slain  near  the  rirer  Aln ; 
both,  according  to  Bromton,  fell  near  Alnwick ;  and  Fordun  says  he  was  besieging 
Alnwick  Castle  when  he  was  killed  by  stratagem  and  his  son  mortally  wounded. 
Fordon's  statement  respecUog  Alnwick  Castle  being  besieged  is  not  supported  by 
authority  and  is  improbable ;  but  I  see  no  reason  to  doubt  that  Malcolm  was  slain 
near  to  Ahiwick,  on  the  spot  which  tradition  points  out  as  the  scene  of  this  event ; 
not  only  does  this  accord  with  the  account  by  Bromton,  but  it  is  confirmed  by  the 
luatorical  extracts  transmitted  by  the  prior  and  convent  of  Cailisle  to  Edward  1. 1 
— "MXCIIL,  Malcolm,  king  of  the  Scots,  and  his  eldest  son  Edward  were  alaia 
at  Alnewyc  by  the  soldiers  of  Robert,  earl  of  Northumberland.** 

Digitized  by 



ambuscade,  the  Scottish  army  were  thrown  into  confusion, 
Malcokn  was  slain  by  the  hand  of  Morel,  and  Edward  his 
son  was  mortally  wounded.  The  Scottish  army  fled ;  many 
were  killed  by  the  sword,  but  more  perished  by  floods  in  the 
rivers,  which  were  more  swollen  than  usual  by  the  heavy 
winter  rains.  "And  thus  it  happened"  says  the  pious 
chronicler,  "  that  the  justice  of  the  judgment  of  God  was 
openly  manifested ;  for  where  Malcolm  had  deprived  many 
of  life,  goods,  and  liberty,  he  there  by  the  judgment  of  God 
lost  his  life  and  property." 

Though  wounded,  Edward  must  have  been  carried  off  the 
field  by  some  of  the  soldiers  who  escaped,  for  he  died  three 
days  afterwards  at  Edward  Isle  in  Jedwood  Forest.  The 
Scottish  army  having  fled,  and  Mowbray*s  soldiers  having 
gone  in  pursuit  of  the  enemy,  the  body  of  Malcolm  lay 
neglected  on  the  spot  where  he  died.  None  of  the  thou- 
sands, whom  he  had  governed,  was  there  to  give  his  corpse 
honourable  sepulture ;  but  two  natives  of  the  district  placed 
it  on  a  cart  and  conveyed  it  to  Tynemouth,  where  it  was 
interred.*  After  resting  there  about  thirty  years,  the  body  was 
removed  by  Alexander,  the  son  of  Malcolm,  and  re-interred 
at  Dunfermline  before  the  rude  altar  in  the  nave  of  the 
church;  and  there  too,  rest  the  remains  of  his  two  sons 
Edward  and  Ethelred,  and  of  his  sainted  wife  Margaret.t 
When  this  good  queen  heard  of  the  death  of  her  husband, 
she  was  suddenly  seized  with  great  infirmity  and  borne  down 
with  grief;  after  an  illness  of  three  days,  **8he  was  released" 
says  Simeon,  '^  firom  carnal  chains  and  translated,  as  is  be- 
lieved, to  the  joy  of  eternal  safety." 

The  chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey  gives  the  following 
account  of  this  disaster.  "Eustace  de  Vescy  gave  to  the 
Abbey  of  Alnwick  a  certain  country  portion,  which  is  called 
Quarelflat,  for  that  land  upon  which  he  founded  the  Chapel  of 
Saint  Leonard  for  the  soul  of  Malcolm,  king  of  Scotland,  and 
of  his  wife  Saint  Margaret,  queen  of  the  Scots ;  who  in  the 
same  place  was  slain  with  his  eldest  son  Edward  in  the  year 
of  our  Lord  1093,  to  wit,  in  the  7th  year  of  King  Wiluam 
Bufus,  son  of  the   Bastard.     .     .     .    Malcolm  was  there 

«  Simeon,  p.  219 ;  Bromton,  p.  990. 

t  Fordun,  Book  Y.,  chap.  25.  In  "  Notices  of  the  Burial  of  King  Malcolm 
III.  in  the  monastery  of  Tynemouth  and  snhseqnent  History  of  his  Remains,** 
by  /•  Stuart,  Esq.,  F.S.A.,  Scot,  the  subject  is  fully  examined  and  much  inter- 
esting information  given ;  Proceedings  of  Soe.  of  Antiq.  of  Scot 

Digitized  by 



mortally  wounded  near  a  certain  springs  leaving  his  own 
name  to  that  spring  even  for  ever.  Hence  that  spring  is 
called  in  the  native  English  tongue,  Malcolmswell.  This 
King  Malcolm  was  wounded  hy  Hamund,  then  constable  of 
the  said  Eustace  de  Yesey,  with  a  certain  lance,  on  the  point 
of  which  he  had  placed  the  keys  of  the  castle  of  Alnwick  for 
a  pledge,  as  if  placing  the  castle  with  all  its  inhabitants  in 
subjection  to  Malcolm,  king  of  Scotland.  This  deed  being 
done,  Hamund  returned  with  a  quick  step,  sound,  unhurt, 
and  whole,  passing  over  a  ford  of  water  immensely  great, 
and  then  by  the  divine  will  overflowing  above  measure, 
and  leaving  his  own  name  to  this  ford;  whence  the  ford 
where  he  passed  over  is  called,  in  the  native  English  tongue, 
Hamund's  Ford  from  that  day  and  thenceforward."  This 
story  however,  is  but  a  clumsy  monkish  legend,  written  long 
after  Malcolm's  death ;  it  does  not  accord  with  the  accounts 
in  the  earlier  chronicles;  and  in  one  point  at  least,  it  is 
directly  opposed  to  known  historic  fact.  No  constable  of 
Eustace  de  Vescy  could  have  slain  Malcolm,  for  Eustace  was 
not  in  possession  of  the  barony  of  Alnwick  till  A.D.  1186, 
ninety-two  years  after  Malcolm's  death.* 

A  cross  stood,  from  an  early  period,  on  the  spot  which 
tradition  pointed  out  as  that  where  Malcolm  was  slain. 
Two  fragments  of  this  still  remain,  part  of  the  base  and 
the  upper  limb  of  the  cross ;  they  are  of  rude  workmanship ; 
but  in  1774,  Elizabeth,  duchess  of  Northumberland,  a  de- 
scendant of  Malcolm,  replaced  this  with  another,  ornamented 
in  the  feeble  style  of  the  period,  having  the  following  in- 
scriptions on  the  west  and  east  sides  of  the  pedestal : — 

,,A^^,«.  ,«  K-  Malcolm's  ceoss, 


__~^^          '  DECAYED     BT     TIME, 

S3N0  OE  SCOTLAND,  ax«.«i 


BESIEOINO  ^^^  Tx«o/««^*«,„ 


ALNWICK  CASTLE,  ^~V  ,   Tv^ZLlT    I™ 

'  ELIZ :    DUCHESS    OF 

WAS     HEBE     SLAIN,  JTrZ-^-^^J^^  ^J-r. 


NOT.   Xm.,   AN.   MXOni.  wT^«^t^T^ 


*  Pordim's  aoeount  is  similar  to  that  in  this  chTonic1e»  and  has  evidently  been 
eoaeocted  <mt  of  monkish  legends ;  he  is  the  only  ancient  historian  who  men- 
tions AinwSok  Castle.  According  to  him,  the  garrison  having  no  hope  of  relief, 
one  of  them»  more  skilful,  braye,  and  daring  than  the  others,  undertook  to  free 
his  companions  or  to  die  in  the  attempt.  He  cautiously  approached  the  king's 
itrmyf  and  in  a  pleasant  manner  enquired  for  the  king,  saying  that  he  had 
come  to  deliver  up  to  him  the  castle^  and  as  proof  of  his  intention  pointed  to  the 
keys  of  the  eastle  attached  to  the  end  of  his  spear.    Malcolm  having  heard  this, 


Digitized  by 




na  lo 

On  the  south  face  is  the  lion  of  Scotland  on  a  shield, 
with  Scottish  thistles  in  the  corners  of  the  panel ;  and  on 

the  north  face  the 
Scottish  thistle  is  sur* 
mounted  by  a  crown  f 
both  design  and  work- 
manship  are  poon 
This  cross  stands  in  a 
plantation  close  to  the 
great  north  road  one 
mile  northward  of 
Alnwick,  and  the  frag- 
ments of  the  old  cros9 
are  near  to  it  in  the 
same  wood. 

Malcolm  was  a 
heroic  character,  and 
he  has  been  invested 
with  imaginary  vir- 
tues. Without  suffi- 
cient reason,  to  him 
have  been  attributed 
the  introduction,  not 
only  of  feudal  law,  but 
also  of  representative 
government  into  Soot- 
MAL.COL.M'S  CROSS-  land.  The  Gaels  de- 
ftBM AiNi  OF  THE  OLD  CROSS  IN  THE  BACKGROUND,  gcribc  him  as  haviug  a 

handsome  person  and 
cheerful  mind.  He  undoubtedly  displayed  great  vigour; 
and  under  trying  circumstances  maintained  the  indepen- 
dence of  his  kingdom  against  the  Norman  power.  Like  his 
co-temporaries,  he  was  cruel ;  but  the  influence  of  his  wife^ 
the  sainted  Margaret,  in  some  degree  softened  his  character. 

TVO  DE  VE80T. 

Yvo  de  Vescy  is  the  first  Norman  baron  of  Alnwick  of 
whom  we  have  certain  information ;  and  yet  of  him  not  much 
is  known ;  for  we  have  no  record  of  his  birth,  marriage,  time 

and  apprehending  no  deceit,  ineantioaily  sprang  from  hn  tent,  and  nnarmed  met 
the  Boidier*  who,  treacheroasly  taking  advantage  of  the  defeneeless  king,  pierced 
him  through,  and  immediately  fleeing  to  the  shelter  of  a  wood  escaped  from  the 
Seottish  armj.    Foidnn,  Book  lY.,  chap,  2& 

Digitized  by 



of  obtaining  the  barony,  nor  of  his  death.  He  became  the 
baron  of  Alnwick  probably  a  little  after  A.D.  1096 ;  but  the 
original  charter  is  not  in  existence.  He  died  prior  to  A.D. 
1135,  as  in  that  year  his  successor  was  in  possession  of  the 
barony.  His  name  first  occurs  in  a  charter  granted  to  his 
grandson  by  Henry  II.,  who  reigned  from  A.D.  1154  to  A.D. 
1189.  To  William  de  Vesci,  by  this  charter,  the  king  con- 
firms in  fee  and  hekship,  all  the  lands  and  tenures  of  Eustace 
Fitz-John  his  father,  with  all  appurtenances  of  the  same, 
which  he  held  in  chief  of  the  king  or  howsoever  held,  to  wit 
of  his  demesne  fee,  to  hold  of  the  king  in  chief,  the  castle  of 
Alnewyk  and  the  whole  honour,  which  belonged  to  Ivo  de 
Vesci  his  grandfather  with  all  their  appurtenances.  The 
barony  of  Maltou  was  never  held  by  Yvo. 

The  Vcscy  family  came  into  England  with  William  the 
Conqueror;  and  the  name  Robert  de  Vesci  appears  in  Dooms- 
day Book  as  holding  manors  in  Northamptonshire,  Warwick- 
shire, lincolnsfaire,  Leicestershire.  To  this  family  belonged 
Vassy,  a  commune  in  the  department  of  Calvados  in  Nor- 
mandy, from  which  it  took  the  name. 

Yvo  de  Vescy  never  rose  to  distinction ;  his  name  appears 
not  in  history,  and  of  his  virtues  and  vices  we  are  ignorant. 
With  him,  however,  probably  began  the  building  of  a  great 
baronial  stronghold,  for  in  the  charter  referred  to,  he  is  named 
in  connection  with  Alnwick  Castle.  He  died  about  the  year 
A.D.  11S4,  leaving  an  only  daughter  Beatrix,  but  no  male 


Eustace  Fitz-John  obtained  the  barony  of  Alnwick,  by 
marrying  Beatrix  the  heiress  of  Yvo  de  Vescy,  and  was  in 
possession  of  it  in  1135.  His  descent  as  given  by  heraldists 
18  confused  and  contradictory ;  he  is  said  to  have  been  the 
sob  of  John  de  Burgh,  and  nephew  of  Serlo  de  Burgh,  lord 
of  Knaresborough,  who  dying  without  issue,  was  succeeded 
in  his  possessions  by  his  brother  John,  called  Monoculus, 
because  he  had  but  one  eye.  All  this,  however,  is  more  than 
doubtful ;  for  Eustace  held  Knaresborough  not  in  heirship, 
but  as  a  farmer  under  the  crown. 

Eustace  Fitz-John  was  an  able  man,  and  played  a  dis- 
tinguished, if  not  always  an  honourable  part  in  public  affairs. 
Aildred  says  of  him,  ^'  He  was  one  of  the  chief  peers  in  Eng- 
land, and  intimately  acquainted  with  King  Henry  I.,  and 
of  great  wisdom  and  of  singular  judgment  in  counsels."    He 

Digitized  by 



seems^  however^  to  have  had  a  careful  regard  to  his  own 
aggrandisement^  for  his  possessions  became  largely  increased 
by  marriage  and  royal  grants.  Henry  I.  gave  him  by  charter, 
'Hhe  laud  Archaristan  which  I  have  in  my  demesne  in 
Baenburc,*  to  wit  the  land  of  Spileston^f  and  the  mill  of 
Warnet,^  which  render  to  me  yearly  sixty  shillings.  And 
the  land  of  Bolla§  with  (appurtenances)  which  was  wont  to 
render  me  yearly  forty  shillings."  Henry,  son  of  the  king 
of  Scotland,  granted  him  by  charters  the  lands  of  Bertun  and 
Pottun,  Pathestun,  Struechea,  and  also  the  fee  and  service  of 
Bobert  de  Muntut  of  five  knights'  fees ;  and  also  the  fee  of 
Toteham  and  other  lands.  He  held  fees  too  of  the  Arch- 
bishop of  York  and  of  the  Bishop  of  Durham.  From  the 
confirmatory  charter  granted  by  Henry  II.  to  William  de 
Vescy,  grandson  of  Eustace  Fitz-John,  we  learn,  that  Henry  I. 
gave  to  this  Eustace  the  whole  fee  of  Radulph  Gaugi,  to  wit, 
Elingeham,  and  Dochesefibdam,||  and  Osberwyc,^^  and  Hac- 
ton,  and  Netferton,  and  also  many  lands  in  the  counties  of 
Durham  and  Yorkshire,  among  which  was  the  barony  of 
Malton.  So  high  did  he  stand  in  the  favour  of  his  sovereign, 
that  he  was  appointed  sheriff  of  Northumberland,  and  in  his 
official  capacity,  governor  of  Bamburgh  Castle.  His  vast 
possessions  and  official  position  gave  him  the  command  of 
extensive  military  resources;  and  he  had  both  the  means 
and  inclination  to  influence  public  movements. 

Eustace  must,  however,  have  been  learned  as  well  as  brave, 
and  much  in  advance  of  the  rude,  ilUterate  barons  of  the 
period.  We  find  him  an  itinerant  justice  of  the  northern 
counties  in  1129,  associated  with  Walter  de  Espec,  one  of 
the  noblest  men  of  the  age.  In  the  earliest  Pipe  Bolls 
preserved,  of  the  reign  of  Henry  I.,  his  name  repeatedly 

'^  Hugh,  the  son  of  Odo,  rendered  an  account  of  twenty 
shillings  for  the  pleas  of  W.  Espec  and  Eustace  Fitz-John, 
and  for  livery  of  Walter  Espec  and  Eustace  Fitz-John, 
twelve  shillings  and  sixpence.  In  pardon  by  writ  of  the 
king,  Eustace  Fitz-John  seventy-two  shillings.  Six  pounds 
are  due  by  the  sheriff,  and  this  remains  on  the  land  of 
Eustace  Fitz-John."  He  had  the  wardship  of  Blida,  a  place 
in  Nottinghamshire,  and  for  this  he  renders  an  account  of 
£22  lis.  lOd. 

*  Bamburgb.  f  Spindleston.  I  Warn.  §  Budl«. 

II  Doxfoid.  ^  Elwick. 

Digitized  by 



FoT  some  time  after  the  accession  of  Stephen  as  king  of 
England  in  1135^  Eustace  did  not  enjoy  the  favour  of  his 
sovereign.  Though  no  defined  principle  of  succession  to  the 
throne  had  been  established,  many  of  the  barons  regarded 
Stephen  as  a  usurper ;  and  it  would  seem,  that  Eustace  par- 
ticipating in  this  feeling,  secretly  favoured  the  cause  of  the 
Empress  Maud.*  He  was  therefore  viewed  with  suspicion ; 
and  the  governorship  of  Bamburgh  Castle — ^then  the  most 
important  northern  stronghold — ^was  taken  from  him.  He 
had,  however,  raised  or  completed  strongholds  of  his  own. 
Alnwick  Castle  is  described  at  this  period  as  '^  most  strongly 
fortified ;"  and  he  had  erected  Malton  Castle  in  the  midst  of 
bis  Yorkshire  lands.  At  length  he  openly  joined  the  enemies 
of  King  Stephen,  and  lent  his  aid,  with  all  the  forces  he 
could  assemble,  to  David  king  of  the  Scots,  who,  in  the 
autumn  of  A.D.  1138,  made  a  hostile  expedition  into  Eng- 
land. Alnwick  Castle  was  given  up  to  the  king  of  the  Scots. 
The  united  forces  marched  to  Bamburgh  Castle,  which  they 
were  not  able  to  take;  but  the  young  men  of  the  place  rashly 
going  before  a  rampart  which  was  in  front  of  the  castle,  so 
tormented  the  Scots  with  derisive  shouts,  that  aroused  by 
such  insulting  conduct,  they  fiercely  attacked  and  broke 
down  the  wall,  and  rushing  within,  slew  a  hundred  of  these 
foolish  youths.  Unable  to  take  the  castle  itself,  the  Scottish 
army,  after  destroying  all  the  com  in  the  neighbourhood, 
marched  onward  towards  Yorkshire,  leaving  behind  them  a 
trackway  of  desolation  and  blood.  Eustace  Fitz-John  pur- 
posed delivering  up  Malton  Castle  to  King  David ;  but  the 
progress  of  the  army  was  arrested  at  Northallerton,  where 
the  famous  battle  of  the  Standard  was  fought,  of  which  some 
account  must  be  given,  as  a  Yescy  and  a  Percy  fought  on  one 
side  and  a  Percy  on  the  other.f  The  Scottish  army  numbered 
26,000  men,  and  was  composed  of  Scots,  Picts,  Gallowaymen, 
and  Northumbrians.  To  resist  this  formidable  array,  the 
aged  but  vigorous  minded  Archbishop  Thurstan  and  Walter 
de  Espec  the  sheriff  had  summoned  to  the  field,  a  small  but 
determined  body  of  brave  warriors,  consisting  chiefly  of  the 
nobles  and  principal  men  of  the  province  of  York.  In  a 
wide  field  near  AUerton,  they  assembled  around  a  remark- 
able standard,  (from  which  the  battle  took  its  name,)  formed 
of  the  mast  of  a  ship  erected  on  the  beam  of  a  chariot ;  on  its 

•  Hist  Bic  Hag.,  (Twisden,)  p.  819. 
f  AUn  de  Percy  le  Metchin  fought  on  the  side  of  the  Scots. 

Digitized  by 



top  a  large  cross  was  displayed,  having  in  its  centre  the  con- 
secrated host ;  and  floating  beneath  were  the  banners  of  St. 
Peter  and  St.  John  of  Beverly,  and  of  St.  Wilfrid  of  Ripon. 
William  de  Percy,  Robert  de  Brus,  and  Bernard  de  Baliol, 
an  experienced  soldier,  were  with  the  English  army ;  and 
the  two  last,  who  held  lands  in  Scotland  as  well  in  England, 
endeavouied  to  induce  David  to  discontinue  these  inroads ; 
but  the  Scottish  king  refusing,  they  absolved  themselves  from 
their  homage  to  him. 

Three  days  were  spent  by  the  little  English  army  in  reli- 
gious exercises,  and  to  fortify  their  minds,  absolution  and 
benediction  were  given  by  the  archbishop.  Walter  de  Espec, 
the  sheriff,  a  man  of  a  noble  form,  venerable  from  his  age, 
distinguished  by  the  acuteness  of  his  genius,  by  his  wisdom, 
piety,  and  fidelity  to  the  king,  ascended  the  machine  on 
which  the  standard  was  fixed,  and  delivered  an  oration,  with 
a  voice  like  a  trumpet,  calculated  to  rouse  to  the  highest 
pitch  the  valour  of  the  army.  His  description  of  the  appal- 
ling atrocities  committed  by  the  Scottish  army,  presents  a 
fearful  picture  of  the  barbarism  of  the  period,  and  of  the 
miserable  and  wasted  condition  of  the  border  land.  ^'  Remem- 
ber," says  he,  "  what  they  did  in  the  parts  beyond  the  Tyne, 
(that  is  in  Northumberland,)  nor  hope  gentler  things  if  the 
Scots  conquer.  I  say  nothing  of  the  slaughters,  rapines, 
and  burnings,  which  are  exercised  in  a  certain  humane  man- 
ner by  enemies — I  speak  of  such  things  as  fiction  never  in- 
vented nor  history  narrated  as  done  by  the  cruellest  tyrants. 
They  spared  no  age,  no  rank,  no  sex ;  nobles  as  well  as  boys 
and  girls  were  led  into  captivity.  Chaste  wives  were  defiled 
by  the  most  incredible  lust ;  children  tossed  in  the  air  and 
upon  the  points  of  the  lances  afforded  a  delightful  spectacle 
to  the  Gallowaymen ;  pregnant  women  were  ripped  up  and 
the  immature  infants  with  impious  hands  dashed  against 
stones ;  entering  a  house,  where  many  young  persons  were 
assembled,  a  Gallowayman  seized  one  softer  another  by  the 
feet,  dashed  their  heads  against  a  post,  and  piling  up  the 
dead  and  mangled  bodies,  laughingly  exclaimed — 'behold 
how  many  Gauls  I  alone  have  killed  this  day.'  Horrible  to 
relate,  they  entered  the  temple  of  God,  polluted  his  sanctu- 
ary, and  trampled  under  foot  the  sacraments  of  salvation.'** 
More  deeds  of  atrocity  were  laid  to  their  charge,  but  we  may 
hope  for  the  honour  of  human  nature,  that  the  picture  is  too 

*  Aildxed,  p.  MO. 

Digitized  by 



deeply  shaded  by  the  orator.  After  this  appeal^  Espec  gave 
his  right  hand  to  one  of  the  leaders  and  said,  *'  I  give  my 
&ith  either  to  conquer  the  Scots  this  day  or  be  slain  by 
them."  All  the  nobles  took  a  similar  vow  ;  and  that  there 
might  be  no  hope  of  flight,  their  horses  were  removed  to  a 
distance ;  and  they  advanced  on  foot  determined  to  conquer 
or  die. 

Composed  of  discordant  materials,  the  different  races  of  the 
Scottish  army  were  jealous  of  each  other.  The  king  wished 
the  onset  to  be  made  with  his  men  of  arms,  but  the  Gallo- 
waymen  claimed  the  right  to  form  the  first  rank;  and  fearing 
sedition,  the  king  yielded  to  their  demand,  although  from 
being  almost  naked  and  unarmed,  they  were  not  fit  to  combat 
with  the  English  men  of  arms,  who  were  protected  by  invul- 
nerable triangular  breast-plates.  The  arrangement  was  fatal 
to  the  Scots ;  for  these  unarmed  men  were  pierced  by  the 
English  arrows;  and  before  the  lapse  of  two  hours,  they 
were  driven  back  with  great  slaughter,  involving  the  whole 
army  in  confusion,  in  flight,  and  in  ruin.  Eustace  Fitz-John 
fought  in  the  second  rank,  which  was  led  by  Prince  Henry, 
son  of  the  Scottish  king.  The  king  and  his  band  of  knights 
attempted  to  stand,  but  they  too  were  compelled  to  flee. 
Eleven  thousand  of  the  Scots  are  said  to  have  fallen  on  the 
field ;  and  though  the  little  English  army  did  not  pursue  the 
routed  enemy,  many  more  of  the  Scots  losing  their  way  were 
slain  by  the  country  people,  in  revenge  of  the  atrocities  they 
had  perpetrated.  The  king  and  his  son  escaped  with  difli- 
culty,  and  arriving  three  days  afterwards  at  Carlisle,  they 
lost  no  time  in  collecting  the  remains  of  their  shattered  army, 
and  soon  afterwards  laid  siege  to  Wark  Castle.  Eustace 
Fitz-John  was  wounded,  and  barely  escaped  with  his  life  to 
his  castle.*  Peace,  however,  was  concluded  between  the  two 
countries,  chiefly  through  the  influence  of  the  legate  of  the 
pope,  and  the  queen  of  England.  In  consequence  of  this 
treaty,  Henry,  the  son  of  David,  received  the  earldom  of 
Northumberland,  excepting  the  towns  of  Bamburgh  and 
Newcastle;  and  for  several  years  afterwards  this  county  was 
under  the  dominion  of  a  Scottish  prince.f 

Amid  the  desolation  these  dark  scenes  present,  one  green 
spot  appears.  Alberic,  bishop  of  Ostia,  the  legate  of  the  pope^ 
endeavoured  not  only  to  promote  peace,  but  to  mitigate  the 

*  Florence's  Chronicle,  p.  264. 
t  AUdred,  p.  838  to  Zi6.    Hist  Jobn  Hag.,  260  to  282. 

Digitized  by 


66  HI8T0&T  OF   AJMyriCK. 

horrors  of  war.  He  urged  the  Soots — ^who,  although  led  by 
a  king  distinguished  for  building  and  endowing  churches, 
abbeys^  and  nunneries^  and  even  for  fostering  commerce^  yet 
acted  more  like  demons  than  men-— to  wage  war  with  greater 
humanity ;  and  he  prevailed  on  them  to  set  free  the  women 
whom  they  had  recently  taken  captive;  through  his  per- 
suasions,  the  whole  Scottish  army  engaged  that  in  future 
they  would  abstain  from  violating  churches,  and  would  spare 
women  and  children. 

In  these  changing  times,  when  the  feeling  of  loyalty  had 
scarcely  an  existence,  Eustace  was  ere  long  reconciled  to 
King  Stephen;  for  we  find  him  in  the  5th  year  of  Stephen's 
reign  holding,  in  &vour  of  the  king,  the  two  great  lordships 
of  Burgh  and  Knaresborough.  He  was  slain  when  with  an 
expedition  into  Wales,  in  the  year  1157,  the  Srd  of  the  reign 
of  Henry  II. 

His  charitable  acts  took  the  direction  of  the  spirit  of  the 
age.  Fierce  men  accustomed  to  slaughter  and  oppression, 
and  unscrupulous  in  their  aggressions  on  the  property  of 
others,  trusted  to  the  rites  of  the  church  for  the  absolution 
of  their  offences  against  law  and  morality ;  it  was  the  age  of 
ecclesiastical  endowments ;  and  hence  churches,  abbeys,  and 
nunneries  were  built  and  richly  endowed  to  atone  for  trans- 
gressions, and  procure  the  prayers  of  the  fiuihfril  for  the 
safety  of  their  souls.  Besides  granting  money  and*  lands  to 
the  monks  of  St.  Peter's  of  Gloucester,  to  the  churches  of 
Flamborough,  of  Laton,  and  of  Scalleby,  and  to  the  canons 
of  Bridlington,  Eustace  founded  the  monasteries  of  Walton 
and  Malton,  and  also  of  Alnwick,  and  amply  endowed  them 
with  land  and  revenues.* 

He  married  twice:  Beatrix,  the  heiress  of  Alnwick,  is 
stated  to  have  died  in  childbirth  of  William,  who  succeeded 
to  her  inheritance.  Eustace's  other  wife,  Agnes,  daughter 
of  the  constable  of  Chester,  mentions  her  sons  Richard  and 
Geffirey.  From  Richard  the  Lacys  and  Claverings  traced 
their  descent. 


William,  the  eldest  son  of  Eustace  and  Beatrix,  inherited 
the  barony  of  Alnwick  and  other  extensive  possessions  left 
by  his  fatner ;  and  as  the  larger  portion  came  through  his 

•  Dugdale  Bar.,  Vol,  1.,  p.  91. 

Digitized  by 



mother^  he  assumed  the  name  of  De  Yescy.  A  charter  was 
granted  by  Henry  II.,  confirming  to  him  in  fee  and  heirship 
all  the  lands  and  tenures  held  by  his  father.  HLs  estates 
were  very  large,  for  he  held  no  less  than  twenty  knights' 
fees,  and  for  these  he,  in  12th  Henry  II.,  paid  £17  13s.  Od.  as 
an  aid  for  marrying  the  king's  daughter.  In  18th  Henry  II. 
he  paid  £24  6s.  8d.  for  scutage*  of  Ireland,  as  he  neither  went 
in  ]>erson  nor  sent  soldiers  to  that  war.  Though  neither 
eyinciDg  the  ability  nor  possessing  the  influence  of  his  father, 
he  for  twelve  years  held  the  important  office  of  sheriff  of 
Northumberland ;  and  from  4th  Henry  II.  to  15th  Henry  II. 
he  accounted  yearly  in  the  great  .pipe  rolls  for  the  farm  of 
the  county.  In  A.D.  1165  he  accounts  for  forty  marks, 
de  proprio  dono;  in  A.D.  1166  for  lands  which  he  held  in 
Baemburc,  (Bamburgh,)  twenty-four  shillings;  and  Reginald 
his  steward  accounts  for  £4  Ss.  4d.  He  ceased  to  be  sheriff 
in  A.D.  1170, 

Northumberland  remained  for  some  time  under  Scottish 

Smer;  and  the  services  which  King  David  had  rendered  to 
enry  Plantagenet,  the  son  of  Maud,  laid  upon  him  an 
obligation  to  view  favourably  the  claims  of  the  Scottish 
princes  to  the  counties  of  Cumberland  and  Northumberland. 
Accordingly,  when  Henry  was  knighted  by  the  old  King 
David,  he  swore,  that  on  becoming  king  of  England,  he 
would  confirm  to  David  and  his  heirs  the  lands  held  by  them 
in  England;  but  as  soon  as  he  was  firmly  seated  on  the 
throne,  disregarding  his  oath,  and  considering  these  counties 
too  valuable  to  be  held  by  a  foreign  power,  he  in  A.D.  1154 
demanded  their  restitution.  The  brave  old  King  David  and 
his  promising  son  Henry  were  then  dead;  and  the  Scottish 
throne  was  filled  by  a  feeble  minor,  Malcolm,  the  grandson 
of  David;  the  demand  therefore  could  not  be  resisted;  and 
Northumberland  again,  without  a  struggle,  came  under  the 
dominion  of  the  Norman  kings.  Malcolm  himself,  during  his 
short  reign  of  twelve  years,  was  under  the  influence  of  his 
potent  neighbour,  and  peaceably  acquiesced  in  the  alienation 
of  Cumberland  and  Northumberland ;  but  his  people  were 
not  so  quiescent;  angry  murmurs  rose  against  their  sovereign 
for  his  pusillanimous  conduct,  and  the  border  warriors  made 
frequent  inroads;  wasting  and  greatly  injuring  the  district. 

•  From  Scutagium,  or  ServiHum  ScuU,  (Latin,)  the  service  of  the  shield;  in 
NonnaD- French,  Eteuage,  This  was  a  fine  in  money  paid  by  a  military  tenant 
in  lien  of  bis  personal  service. 


Digitized  by 



Truces  were  made  but  ill  kept,  and  the  borders  were  in  ft 
state  of  constant  turmoil  and  warfare. 

William  the  Lion,  who  succeeded  to  the  Scottish  throne 
in  A.D.  1165,  was  brave,  and  felt  himibled  by  the  loss  of  his 
Northumberland  and  Cumberland  inheritance.  He  visited 
the  kin^  of  England  in  Brittany,  to  urge  his  claims  for  its 
restoration;  and  Henry  II.  being  then  at  war  with  his 
rebellious  vassals  on  the  continent,  soothed  him  with  fair 
promises  to  end  all  disputes,  as  soon  as  he  had  leisure* 
Seven  years  elapsed,  but  William  found  no  redress. 

Though  a  kind  and  indulgent  father,  Henry's  sons  rebelled 
against  him ;  and  his  eldest  son,  the  head  of  the  conspiracy, 
induced  the  king  of  Scotland  to  aid  him  in  his  unnatural 
attempt,  by  promising  to  restore  the  counties  of  Northumber* 
land  and  Cumberland  to  the  Scottish  king.  Accordingly 
William  entered  Northumberland  with  a  large  army,  com* 
posed  partly  of  Scots  and  Flemings,  but  with  a  multitude  of 
Gallowaymen,  who  were  almost  naked,  but  fleet  and  remark- 
ably bold,  and  armed  with  small  knives  at  their  left  sides 
and  javelins  in  their  hands,  which  they  could  throw  at  a 
great  distance.*  Wark  was  first  besieged,  but  unsuccessfully, 
being  stoutly  defended  by  R(^r  de  Estuteville.  Then, 
says  the  chronicler,  Fantosme,  who  was  eye-witness  of 
many  of  the  scenes  he  describes,  the  great  host  of  Albany 
went  to  Alnwick  Castle,  which  was  under  the  command 
of  William  de  Vescy,  the  illegitimate  son  of  the  baron  o£ 
Alnwick.  William  de  Vescy  proved  himself  a  valorous 
knight,  and  **  much  was  the  father  joyous  in  heart  to  have 
such  a  son."  Failing  in  their  attempt  on  Alnwick,  the 
Scottish  army  destroyed  the  land  next  to  the  sea;  and 
"coming  to  Warkworth  did  not  deign  to  stop  there,  for  weak 
was  the  castle,  the  wall,  and  the  trench.*'  After  a  vain 
attempt  to  take  Newcastle  and  Carlisle,  they  marched  onward 
to  Yorkshire,  the  warlike  and  turbulent  Bishop  Pudsey 
allowing  them  to  pass  unmolested;  but  an  English  army 
advancing  to  repel  the  invasion,  the  king  of  Scotland  retired 
to  his  own  country.  The  teacUngs  of  the  good  and  humane 
legate  had  been  cast  into  stony  ground ;  for  the  Scots,  both 
in  their  advance  and  retreat,  ravaged  and  destroyed,,  and 
committed  great  atrocities.  Berwick  was  burnt  by  them* 
The  chronicler  says : — 

«  Ra.  de  Dioeto^  (Twiiden,}  p.  675. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


**  He  rides  in  the  lead  destroyed  and  wasted* 
That  is  NorthumberlaDd,  which  was  already  renowned ; 
From  here  to  the  passes  of  Spain,  there  was  not  saeh  a  eonntrj, 
Nor  more  faithf  al,  nor  people  more  hononred  $ 
Now  it  is  in  famine,  becomes  annihilated 
If  by  the  king  of  England  aid  is  not  giyen." 

Embarrassed^  however,  by  an  army  of  Flemings,  who  had 
landed  in  Suffolk,  the  king  of  England  could  not  avenge  this 
inroad,  but  concluded  a  truce  with  the  Scots. 

Though  foiled  in  their  first  attempt,  the  unnatural  sons  of 
Henry  II.  of  England,  resolved  to  make  another,  to  dethrone 
their  father ;  and  in  their  support,  Wilham  the  Lion  again 
crossed  the  border  in  the  beginning  of  April,  A.D.  1174,  with 
a  huge  army  composed  of  Flemish  mercenaries  as  well  as  Scot- 
tish soldiers,  estimated  to  be  80,000  strong.  Wark  was  again 
assaulted,  but  though  more  vigorously  than  before,  yet  still 
without  success.  Part  of  the  army  was  despatched  at  night 
to  Bamburgh  Castle,  and  surprised  some  poor  people  asleep 
in  their  beds.  The  chronicle  gives  a  sad  picture  of  the 
morning's  march. 

**  The  town  •£  BeUbrd  was  first  attacked. 
Over  all  the  country  they  scattered  themselves ; 
Some  mn  to  towns  to  commit  their  folly, 
Some  go  to  take  sheep  in  their  folds, 
Some  go  to  bum  towns,  I  cannot  tell  von  more ; 
Never  will  such  great  destruction  be  heard  spoken  of. 
Then  might  you  see  peasants  and  Flemings  who  tie  them, 
And  lead  them  in  their  cords  like  heathen  people* 
Women  fly  to  the  minster,  each  was  ravished. 
Naked  wi&iout  clothes,  she  forgets  there  her  property ; 
Ah,  Godl  why  did  William  de  Vesci  not  know  itf 
The  booty  were  rescued,  nor  woald  they  have  failed  in  it 
They  bunt  the  eountry ;  but  God  was  a  friend 
To  &ooe  gentle  peasants  who  were  defenceless, 
For  the  Scots  were  not  their  mortal  enemies ; 
They  would  have  beaten,  slain,  and  ill*tteated  them  all*"* 

After  suffering  the  loss  of  many  men  before  Wark,  William 
the  Lion  led  his  army  towards  '^  Carlisle  the  fair,  the  strong 
garrisoned  city."  He  took  the  castles  of  Liddel,  of  Brougl^ 
and  of  Appleby ;  but  not  being  able  speedily  to  reduce  Car- 
lisle, he  marched  upon  Prudhoe  Castle,  and  attempted  to 
take  it  by  surprise ;  but  Odonel  de  Umfraville  was  prepared 
for  the  attack,  and  brayely  repulsed  it.  Leaving  his  castle 
under  the  charge  of  its  bold  defenders,  Odonel  mounted  his 
"good  brown  l»y,  day  and  night  always  spurring,"  and 

*  Fantoime,  1167. 

Digitized  by 



gathered  four  hundred  knights  for  the  relief  of  Prudhoe. 
Three  days  the  siege  continued;  but  William,  finding  he 
could  not  master  the  castle,  and  that  the  army  of  the  sheriff 
of  York  was  advancing,  abandoned  the  siege ;  and  on  Friday 
morning,  the  12th  of  July,  his  great  host  marched  northward 
in  two  diyiaions;  the  Gallowaymen  ravaged  the  lands  of 
Odonel,  and  the  Scots  wasted  and  burnt  the  country  along 
the  sea  coast.  On  the  Friday  evening.  King  William  with 
the  French  and  Flemings  of  his  army  began  the  siege  of 
Alnwick  Castle«  He  retained  with  him  only  five  hundred 
knights,  while  the  two  divisions  of  his  main  army  were 
ravaging  the  country  around ;  towns  and  villages  were  burnt 
and  plundered.  Earl  Duncan  with  one  division  entered 
Warkworth  and  burnt  it,  and  slew  all  whom  he  foujid^  men 
and  women,  great  and  small ;  they  broke  into  the  church  of 
Saint  Laurence,  and  mutilated  three  priests  and  slew  three 
hundred  men,  women,  and  children,  who  had  taken  refuge 
there.  "Alas!"  exclaims  another  chronicler,*  "what  sor- 
row !  then  you  might  hear  the  shrieks  of  women,  the  lamen- 
tations of  the  old,  the  groans  of  the  dying,  and  the  despair  of 
the  young ;  but  the  omnipotent  God  avenged  on  the  same 
day,  the  injury  and  violence  done  to  the  church  of  the 

Wlien  Odonel  arrived  at  Newcastle  in  the  evening  of  Fri- 
day, with  the  forces  he  had  collected,  he  found  that  the  king 
of  the  Scots  had  retired.  Besides  Odonel,  there  were,  as 
leaders  of  the  little  band,  Bandolph  de  Glanville  the  brave 
sheriff,  Bernard  de  Baliol,  William  D'Estuteville,  and  Wil- 
liam de  Yescy.  Having  been  informed,  probably  by  a  mes- 
senger from  Alnwick  Castle,  that  the  king  of  the  Scots  had 
around  him  only  a  small  suit,  the  bulk  of  his  army  being 
engaged  in  plundering,  it  was  resolved  by  these  valiant  men 
to  attempt  to  relieve  the  castle ;  but  in  accordance  with  the 
sage  council  of  Glanville,  a  spy  was  sent  before  to  ascertain 
the  state  of  the  Scottish  force.  The  English  troop,  increased 
in  number  by  sixty  knights  of  the  archbishc^  of  York,  after 
refreshing  themselves  by  a  little  rest  during  the  night,  set 
forth  from  Newcastle  at  the  break  of  dav  with  such  speed, 
that  though  heavily  armed,  they  in  less  than  five  hours  had 
proceeded  about  thirty  miles.  For  some  time  so  dense  a  fog 
covered  their  march,  that  they  scarcely  knew  whither  they 
yveie  going ;  and  the  prudent  or  timid,  fearing  that  danger 

«  Benedietus  Petr. 

Digitized  by 



hung  over  them^  advised  an  immediate  return  to  Newcastle ; 
bat  Bernard  de  Baliol,  a  noble  and  courageous  man,  said*— 
**  Let  him  go  back  who  will;  I  will  not  stamp  my  name  with 
everlasting  disgrace ;  evten  though  alone,  I  will  go  onward." 
Stimulated  by  this  heroism,  the  march  was  resumed,  and 
they  had  not  proceeded  &r,  when  suddenly  the  fog  cleared 
away,  and  with  joy  they  saw  before  them  die  battlements  of 
Alnwick  Castle  lUmninated  by  the  sunbeams — a,  secure  place 
of  refuge  should  they  be  overpowered  by  numbers.  They 
entered  for  concealment  into  a  copse,  and  there  received  tte 
report  of  their  spy. 

William  the  Lion  at  this  hour  was  lying  in  a  field  about  a 
quarter-of-a-mile  westward  of  Alnwick  Castle,  on  the  borders 
of  Alnwick  Moor,  with  only  siztv  knights,  waiting  for  the 
return  of  his  army  that  he  might  assault  the  castle  with 
great  vigour.  The  day  had  become  warm ;  his  helmet  was 
laid  aside,  and  with  his  barons  he  had  sat  dovni  to  dine.  The 
English  forces  under  the  command  of  Randolph  de  Glanville 
advanced,  and  William  at  first  supposed  that  they  were  some 
of  his  own  troops  returning  from  a  marauding  expedition. 

"  The  king  of  Scotland  was  brave,  wonderfol,  and  old* 
Before  Alnwick  he  stood  unaimed. 
When  these  had  once  cried  the  war  signal  of  Vesci, 
And  '  Olanvilk  knights  I '  and  •  BaHol  I '  Ukewise^ 
Odonel  de  UmfiravUle  raised  a  cry  of  his  own* 
And  this  of  Estuteville,  a  bold  knight; 
Then  knew  William  that  he  was  nearly  betrayed, 
Quickly  he  stirred  himself  he  was  not  disconcerted." 

Hastily  armii^  himself,  mounting  his  grey  horse,  shaking 
bis  spear,  and  rousing  the  valour  of  his  soldiers  by  exclaiming, 
**  Now  let  it  be  seen  who  is  a  good  knight ! "  he  gallantbr 
charged  his  foes,  and  struck  dovni  the  first  he  encountered. 
A  severe  struggle  ensued ;  and,  one  who  speaks  from  know- 
ledge says,  all  would  have  gone  well  with  WilHam  had  not 
a  sergeant  vnth  a  lance  killed  his  horse.  The  kin^  fell  to 
the  ground  beneath  his  steed,  and,  being  unable  to  nse,  was 
drawn  from  beneath  it ;  and  he  surrendered  himself  prisoner 
to  Bandolph  de  Glanville.  Most  of  his  attendants  were 
taken  prisoners;  some  even,  who  might  have  escaped,  deemed 
it  more  hcmorable  to  share  the  fate  of  their  king  than  to  flee. 
Boger  de  Mowbray,  an  English  baron  fighting  on  the  side 
of  William,  and  Adam  de  Port,  with  a  few  others  escaped 
into  Scotland.  Valorous  deeds  were  performed  by  many  of 
WOliam's  knights  before  they  were  taken.    Lord  Alan  de 

Digitized  by 



Lasoelles,  an  old  knight  of  gigantic  stature,  long  defended 
himself  on  his  grey  charger.  William  de  Mortimer,  raging 
through  the  ran^  like  a  mad  hoar,  gave  and  received  many 
blows,  till  Lord  Bernard  de  Baliol  struck  him  down  from  his 
horse.  Raoul  le  Bus  fought  well  while  attacked  by  a  hun- 
dred foes.  Richard  Maluvel  behaved  himself  gloriously ;  at 
the  head  of  his  thirteen  followers  he  accomplished  as  much 
as  the  whole  of  them ;  but  struck  in  the  middle,  he  was  at 
length  compelled  to  surrender.  The  combat  must  have  been 
continued  some  time  after  William  had  been  taken  pri- 
soner, by  bands  which  had  returned  from  plundering ;  for  the 
prisoners  were  numerous,  William  de  Yescy  alone  having 
taken  one  hundred.  No  quarter  was  given  to  the  Flemish, 
who  were  mercilessly  slaughtered  in  revenge  for  the  atrocities 
they  had  committed. 

The  royal  prisoner  was  mounted  on  a  palfrey,  and  taken 
immediately  by  Randolph  de  Glanville  to  Newcastle,  where 
he  arrived  on  the  same  evening ;  he  was  afterwards  lodged 
in  the  strong  castle  of  Richmond,  till  the  king  of  England's 
J[>leasure  should  be  known,  to  whom  a  messenger  was  sent 
with  the  news. 

The  capture  of  the  Scottish  king  was  a  great  event — 
indeed,  the  most  important  in  the  reign  of  Henry  II. ;  it 
occurred  at  a  critical  crisis  in  our  history,  and  it  saved  the 
nation  from  much  calamity.  Not  content  with  natural 
causes  for  this  issue,  the  chroniclers  of  the  times  bring  in  the 
supernatural,  and  attribute  it  to  the  miraculous  agency  of  St. 
Dunstan.  On  the  day  when  William  the  Lion  was  over- 
thrown, Henry  II.,  king  of  England,  submitted,  as  a  penance, 
to  be  flogged  by  the  monks  of  Christ  Church,  before  the  tomb 
of  Thomas  k  Becket.  **  At  length,*'  says  the  chronicler  in 
swelling  phrase,*  ^'  he  who  touches  the  mountains  and  they 
smoke,  regarding  the  devotion  of  the  burning  mountain  in 
Canterbury,  on  the  very  day  in  which  it  smoked,  the  king 
had  overcome  his  cruellest  enemy  the  king  of  the  Scots  at 

King  Henry  had  returned  to  London  and  retired  to  rest 
full  of  melancholy  thoughts,  and  his  servant  was  gently 
scratching  his  feet  while  he  slept  during  the  silence  of  the 
night,  when  the  messenger  with  tidings  of  the  capture  came 
to  the  door  and  softly  called,  ^'  A  messenger  am  I,  sent  by 
Randolph  de  GlanviUe  to  speak  with  the  king."      ^'The 

•  BromtoD,  (Twitden,)  p.  1095. 

Digitized  by 



king  is  asleep^  I  dare  not  allow  you  to  enter,"  was  the  reply, 
light  was  the  sleep  of  the  king,  like  that  of  all  troubled  in 
mind;  and  he  was  awakened  by  the  gentle  whisperings.  On 
learning  that  the  messenger  was  from  Glanville,  he  asked 
for  him,  fearing  that  Glanville  wanted  help.  ''Your  enemy 
the  king  of  the  Scots  is  taken,"  said  the  messenger.  Struck 
with  surprise  and  joy — "  Tell  you  the  truth  ?"  asked  the 
king.  "  Yes  sire,"  was  the  reply,  "  two  private  messengers 
will  confirm  the  news  to-morrow.  For  four  days  I  have 
scarcely  eaten, or  drunk,or  slept;  at  your  pleasure  recompense 
my  service."  Imbued  with  the  superstitious  feelings  of  the 
period,  the  king  exclaimed,  "  Grod  be  thanked  for  it,  and  St. 
Thomas  the  martyr,  and  all  the  saints  of  Grod."  Overjoyed, 
he  leapt  from  his  couch,  and  hastened  to  communicate  the 
tidings  to  his  barons.  On  the  same  evening,  the  bells  of 
London  told  the  tale  to  the  citizens,  and  ere  long,  a  joyful 
peal  was  rung  from  every  parish  church  in  England. 

A  monument,  erected  in  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  cen- 
tury within  a  plantation  on  the  south  side  of  Rotten  B4>w, 
marked  the  spot  where  tradition  says  William  was  captured. 
It  was  in  the  pseudo-Gothic  style,  which  prevailed  at  the  time 
of  its  erection.  Although  not  such  as  to  ^tify  a  refined 
taste,  it  was  not  without  beauty,  and  was  interesttng  as  an 
illustration  of  the  style  of  a  period ;  and  it  is  to  be.  r^retted 
that  it  has  recently  been  taken  down,  and  replaced  by 
another  erection  entirely  devoid  of  taste.  This  is  a  large 
square  smoothed  block  of  sandstone,  nearly  three  feet  in 
height,  resting  on  two  steps.  A  polished  granite  tablet  is 
inserted  into  the  face  of  the  sandstone  block ;  and  on  this 
is  the  following  inscription,  copied  from  the  older  monument, 
^  William  the  Lion,  king  of  Scotland,  besieging  Alnwick 
Castle,  was  here  taken  prisoner,  MCLXXIV."* 

Olanville  t  by  orders  of  the  king  took  his  prisoner  to  Falaise 

•  Fall  aceoants  are  gireD  of  this  important  event,  in  ehronioles  of  Bromton, 
William  of  Newbury,  Benedict  of  Peterborough,  and  Gerrase ;  but  several  of  th« 
minuter  details  I  have  taken  from  flie  metrical  cbioaicle  of  Jordan  Fantosme, 

f  Randolph  de  GlauTille  was  rewarded  for  his  chivalrous  eonduct  by  the  Eng- 
lish king,  who  immediately  promoted  him  to  be  one  of  the  itinerant  justiciars ; 
and  in  A.B.  1180  he  was  appointed  chief  justiciar,  the  most  important  office 
in  the  kingdom,  requiring  for  its  proper  discharge  both  great  military  and  l^gal 
ability.  He  waa  one  of  the  greatest  men  of  his  time»  being  a  perfbct  kolght^ 
skilled  in  the  art  of  war,  a  good  classical  scholar,  and  a  profound  lawyer.  He 
will  be  remembered  throughout  all  time^  as  the  author  of  a  *'  Treatise  on  the  Lawa 

Digitized  by 



in  Normandy^  where  Henry  had  gone  to  quell  insurrections 
of  his  continental  subjects;  and  there  the  unfortunate  lion- 
hearted  king  was  kept  in  strict  confinement  for  a  year^  at 
the  expiration  of  which,  he  obtained  his  liberty  under 
arrangements  which  seriously  affected  the  honour  of  Scot- 
land. This  bondage  continued  till  A.D.  1199,  when  Richard 
I.  desirous,  before  his  departure  as  a  soldier  of  the  cross  to 
the  Holy  Land,  of  gaining  the  friendship  of  William  and 
his  Scottish  subjects,  restored  to  him  by  charter,  the  castles 
of  Berwick  and  Roxburgh,  and  recognised  only  the  feudal 
arrangements  subsisting  between  their  ancestors  *  For  this 
great  boon,  ten  thousand  marks  were  paid  by  the  Scots  to 
the  English  king. 

William  de  Vescy,  like  his  father,  was  liberal  to  the 
church.  He  confirmed  to  the  canons  and  nuns  of  Walton, 
Malton,  and  Wintringham,  the  gift  of  his  father  Eustace  of  the 
church  at  Wintringham,  with  the  manor-house  and  two  mills 
there ;  also  of  the  hamlet  of  Langton,  of  the  church  and 
chapels  of  Walton  and  Malton ;  and  out  of  his  own  charity, 
he  gave  to  them  the  church  of  Ancaster.  To  the  knights 
Templars  he  gave  the  churches  of  Caithrop  and  Normanton, 
and  to  the  canons  of  Semplingham  and  nuns  of  Ormesby  the 
hermitage  of  Spaldingholme,  with  divers  other  lands.  He 
gave  to  the  monks  of  Alnwick  Abbey,  the  churches  of  Chat- 
ton,  Chillingham,  and  Alnham,  his  fishery  of  Lesbury,  and 
land  in  Ru^ey.  But  he  is  chiefly  memorable  in  this  district, 
for  his  grant  of  Alnwick  Moor  to  the  burgesses  of  Alnwick. 

He  was  married  to  Burga,  sister  of  Robert  de  Stuteville, 
Lord  of  Knaresborough,  by  whom  he  had  two  daughters  and 
two  SODS,  Eustace,  who  succeeded  him,  and  Warin,  from 
whom  descended  the  family  of  Aton.  He  died  in  the  year 
1184  ;t  and  according  to  the  chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey  he 
^  became  a  monk  there,  when  near  his  end,  and  was  buried 
before  the  door  of  the  chapter-house  of  the  abbey,  near  to 
where  his  vnfe  Burga  was  laid. 


Eustace  was  only  fourteen  years  of  age  when  his  father 
died.      On  coming  of  age,  A.D.   1191,  he  obtained  from 

and  Cnstoms  of  the  Kingdom  of  Engluid,"  the  first  attempt  to  bring  English  law 
under  fixed  principles,  and  making  him  father  of  English  jurisprudence.    When 
an  old  man  he  became  a  soldier  of  the  cross,  and  died  in  the  Holy  Land. 
*  Rymer  Feed.,  I.,  pp.  39,  64.  f  Dugdale*s  Baronage,  p.  92. 

Digitized  by 



Bichard  I.  livery*  of  his  lands,  and  liberty  to  many  whom 
he  pleased,  on  payment  of  ten  thousand  marks.  In  the 
same  year  he  paid  £12  3s.  4d.  for  scutage  of  Wales ;  but  as 
he  went  in  person  with  the  king  to  Normandy  four  years 
afterwards,  he  was  acquitted  of  the  scutage  then  assessed  for 
the  king's  redemption.  For  a  second  scutage  of  Normandy, 
he  paid  in  the  8th  Richard  I.,  £24  6s.  8d.  According  to 
the  Liber  Niger ^  he  held  in  A-D.  1212,  of  the  king  in  chief, 
the  barony  of  Alnwick  by  the  service  of  twelve  knights  fees, 
and  also  the  vills  of  Budle,  Spindlestone,  and  Warn,  nothing 
having  been  alienated  by  marriage  or  alms  to  the  king's  pre- 
judice. Bat  large  though  these  possessions  were,  they  were 
only  about  one  half  of  the  property  held  by  him,  for  we  find 
he  had  in  13th  John,  a  special  discharge  for  twenty-four 
knights  fees  of  scutage  of  Scotland ;  the  rest  of  his  estates 
were  in  Yorkshire  and  elsewhere. 

Like  his  grandfather,  Eustace  was  a  distinguished  man, 
and  deeply  engaged  in  the  political  movements  of  the  period. 
These  were,  indeed,  times  of  wild  warfare  and  sudden  revolu- 
tions, when  men  of  energy  and  capacity  could  influence,  in 
no  small  degree,  the  destinies  of  the  nation,  which  was 
groaning  under  oppression  and  struggling  for  liberty.  Under 
this  distinguished  baron,  and  with  a  strongly  fortified  castle, 
near  the  borders,  Alnwick  was  the  scene  of  many  important 
events.  John,  the  king  of  England,  visited  it  no  less  than 
four  times. 

During  the  short  reign  of  Richard  I.,  there  was  peace 
along  the  Borders ;  but  as  soon  as  John  ascended  the  Eng- 
lish throne,  the  friendly  relations  between  England  and  Scot* 
land  were  disturbed.  The  conflicting  claims  of  the  two 
nations  seemed  to  have  been  definitely  settled ;  the  supremacy 
of  England  over  Scotland  had  been  abandoned ;  the  northern 
counties,  Cumberland  and  Northumberland,  had  been  incor- 
porated with  England ;  and  the  river  Tweed,  and  the  moun- 
tain range  westward,  formed  the  boundary  of  two  independent 
nations.  Well  would  it  have  been  for  England  and  Scotland, 
and  especially  for  the  border-land,  if  this  settlement  of  hostile 
claims  had  remained  imdisturbed.  Ambition  and  the  love 
of  power  were,  however,  for  centuries  to  come,  to  find  a 
battle-field  in  the  border  counties.  The  old  lion-hearted 
king,  looking  with  regret  to  the  loss  of  the  northern  counties, 
was  not  slow  in  taking  advantage  of  the  dissatisfaction  in 

*  Livery  of  wisen  is  the  delivery  of  lands,  &c« 

Digitized  by 



England  with  John's  usurpation  of  the  English  thtone^  to 
the  prejudice  of  Arthur  the  legitimate  heir;  and  he  urged  his 
claims  for  the  restoration  of  these  counties.  John,  being  then 
engSLgei  in  continental  afiairs  and  anxious  to  keep  peace  with 
Scotland,  commissioned  Eustace  de  Vescy,  who  had  married 
the  illegitimate  daughter  of  the  Scottish  king,  to  assure  him, 
that  on  his  return  from  Normandy  he  would  satisfy  his 
claims.  But  John  was  faithless,  and  took  no  steps  to  redeem 
his  promise;  on  the  contrary  he  appointed  William  de  Stute- 
Tille  to  be  sheriff  of  the  two  counties,  gave  orders  to  strengthen 
the  defences  of  the  northern  castles ;  and  reviving  the  claim 
to  feudal  superiority  over  Scotland,  he  repeatedly  summoned 
William  to  appear  before  him  to  do  homage.  The  Scottish 
king  either  bending  for  a  while  before  a  blast,  which  he 
could  not  then  boldly  face,  or  deluded  by  false  flattery  and 
promises,  obeyed  the  summons,  and  on  the  22nd  November, 
A.D.  1200,  he  rendered  homage  to  John,  on  a  high  hill  out- 
side the  city  of  Lincoln,  in  the  presence  of  a  great  assembly 
of  English  and  Scottish  barons.*  The  terms  of  the  homage 
are  qualified  with  "  Salvo  jure  suo,"  and  must  have  been  for 
Lothian  at  least,  since  at  this  time  the  northern  counties 
were  in  possession  of  the  English ;  and  William,  after  having 
performed  this  deed,  demanded  the  restitution  of  Northum- 
berland, Cumberland,  and  Westmoreland.  This,  however, 
was  not  conceded.  John,  if  not  able,  was  artful,  and  he 
induced  the  Scottish  king  to  agree  to  a  truce  till  after  the 
ensuing  Whitsunday,  to  afford  time  for  deliberation. 
.  William  next  morning  set  off  to  his  own  dominions ;  and 
John  proceeded  northwards,  and  visited  Alnwick  Castle  for 
the  first  time  on  February  12th,  1201  ;t  and  while  there, 
confirmed  the  charter  of  the  burgesses  of  Newcastle;  he 
afterwards  went  to  Bamburgh,  Rothbury,  and  Hexham. 
For  several  years  little  was  done,  to  settle  the  conflicting 
claims  of  the  two  kings ;  William  was  old  and  stricken  down 
with  sickness,  while  John  was  fully  engaged  in  attempting 
to  retrieve  the  disasters  he  had  suffered  on  the,  continent. 
The  king  of  England  made,  however,  one  attempt  to  injure 
Scotland  in  1204,  by  forti^ing  a  castle  at  Tweedmouth  in 
order  to  destroy  Berwick,  and  open  a  passage  into  Scotland. 
The  old  king  rallied,  attacked  the  place,  and  razed  the 
work  to  its  foundations^    A  conference  of  the  two  kings 

•  Hovedon.  f  Patent  Bolb.    Itinexaxy  of  King  John. 

X  Fordnn,  L  YIILi  e.  04 

Digitized  by 



at  Norliam  in  the  same  year  led  to  no  satisfactory  results. 

Large  armies  were  assembled  by  both  kings,  in  1209,  to 
determine  their  differences  by  the  sword ;  but  though  they 
confronted  each  other  at  Norham,  no  battle  ensued,  for  the 
nobles  of  both  kingdoms  interfered,  and  the  armies  were 
disbanded  and  a  conference  appointed  to  be  held  at  New- 
castle. In  his  progress  northward  on  this  occasion,  John 
rested  at  Mnwick  on  the  ^th  of  April.  Owing  to  the  ill- 
ness of  the  old  King  William,  the  conference  at  Newcastle 
was  not  held.  Armies  were  again  assembled  to  decide  the 
controversy ;  and  again  the  nobles  induced  a  suspension  of 
hostilities.  The  two  kings  met  at  Norham,  and  on  the  7  th 
of  August,  concluded  a  treaty,  which  for  a  time  put  an  end 
to  WMfere.  By  this  treaty,  John  agreed  to  desist  from 
erecting  a  fortress  at  Tweedraouth,  and  William  engaged  to 
deliver  his  two  daughters  to  John,  to  be  married  to  John's 
two  sons,  and  to  pay  within  two  years  fifteen  thousand 
marks.*  Evidently  the  old  king  was  wearing  out,  and 
desired  to  secure  a  peaceful  succession  for  his  young  son. 
According  to  Fordun,  Alexander,  the  son  of  William,  rendered 
at  Alnwick  Castle  the  same  homage  and  fealty  to  John, 
which  had  formerly  been  paid  by  his  predecessors  to  the 
English  kings.f 

Other  darker  clouds  were  now  gathering  around  the  faith- 
less king  of  England.  He  had  quarrelled  with  the  pope  and 
involved  himself  and  the  kingdom  in  difficulty  and  disaster; 
and  he  had  alienated  the  affections  of  his  subjects  by  his 
oppressive  exactions,  by  his  avarice,  lust,  and  cruelty.  After 
infamously  hanging  twenty-eight  sons  of  the  Welsh  nobility, 
who  had  been  entrusted  to  him  as  hostages,}  he  was  about 
to  march  into  Wales  with  a  numerous  army  to  destroy  it 
with  fire  and  sword,  when  he  was  startled  with  the  intelli- 
gence, that  the  pope  had  absolved  his  subjects  from  their 
allegiance,  and  that  a  conspiracy  amongst  his  barons  had 
been  formed  against  him.  In  great  alarm,  he  dismissed  his 
forces  and  retired  for  safety  to  London.  He  thence  despatched 
messengers  to  all  suspected  barons,  commanding  them  to 
give  to  him  their  sons  or  relatives,  as  hostages  for  their 
fidelity.  All  dreading  the  cruel  power  of  the  tyrant  com- 
plied, excepting  Eustace  de  Vesey  and  Robert  Fitz- Walter, 
who  were  accused  as  being  principals  in  the  conspiracy. 

•  Rymer,  Vol.  I.,  pp.  155,  275.    Wendover,  A.D.  1209. 
t  Fordnn,  1.  VIII.,  c.  72.  t  Wendover,  A.D.  1212. 

Digitized  by 



The  perfidiousness^  tyranny,  and  cruelty  of  John  were,  of 
themselves,  sufficient  causes  to  induce  high-minded  nobles  to 
seek  the  overthrow  of  his  power;  but  Eustace  de  Vescy  had 
also  a  private  ground  of  quarrel.  Knyghton,  indeed,  attri- 
butes to  "  this  private  offence  the  beginning  and  origin  of 
the  universal  war  and  sedition;"  according  to  him — that 
most  notable  knight  Eustace  de  Vescy  had  a  very  fair  and 
chaste  wife,  whom,  by  cunning,  the  king  attempted  to  de- 
bauch. Sitting  at  table  with  Eustace,  he  seized  a  ring  which 
was  on  his  finger,  and  said  he  had  a  similar  stone  which  he 
wished  encircled  by  the  same  gold  workmanship.  Suspecting 
no  evil,  the  ring  was  lent  to  the  king,  who  immediately  after- 
wards summoned  a  boy  and  sent  him  with  the  ring  to  the 
wife  of  Eustace,  with  a  message  that  her  lord  was  sick  unto 
death,  and  desired  her  with  all  speed  to  hasten  to  London  if 
she  would  see  him  alive.  Her  lord's  ring  was  to  the  affec- 
tionate wife  a  guarantee  of  the  truth  of  the  message,  and 
she  immediately  hastened  to  succour  her  lord.  But  the 
wicked  design  was  frustrated,  for  Eustace  while  travelling 
met  his  wife  by  chance,  on  her  way  to  London;  and  on 
being  informed  of  the  cause  of  her  journey,  he,  knowing  the 
treachery  of  the  king,  said — **  Craftily  are  you  summoned, 
that  the  king  may  dishonour  you."  In  revenge  for  the 
insult,  he  caused  a  woman  of  ill  fame  to  be  dressed  up  in  his 
wife's  vestments  and  to  meet  the  king  at  the  appointed  place. 
John  was  wont  to  glory  in  his  shame,  and  when  at  table,  he 
upbraided  Eustace  with  his  supposed  dishonour;  but,  on 
being  informed  of  the  trick  played  upon  him,  he  became 
enraged,  and  with  an  oath  threatened  Eustace  with  death. 
Eustace,  however,  escaped  from  the  licentious  tyrant,  and 
retired  to  his  northern  strongholds,  where  he  was  joined  by 
other  barons  whom  the  vile  king  had  also  sought  to  dis- 
honour.* Eustace  afterwards  fled  into  Scotland.  John 
demanded  the  Scottish  king  to  give  him  up  as  a  fugitive 
felon ;  but  the  brave  old  King  William  was  too  chivalrous 
to  betray  a  man — his  son-in-law  too — ^who  had  sought  his 
protection,  and  who  as  yet  had  not  been  convicted  of  a  crime. 
Emerie,  archdeacon  of  Durham,  and  Philip  de  Ulecote  the 
sheriff  of  the  county,  were  on  the  27th  of  May,  1218,  com- 
manded by  the  king  to  destroy  the  castle  of  Alnwick,  so 
that  it  would  be  useless  to  Eustace  de  Vescy  ;t  but  this  was 
not  carried  into  effect,  for  what  reason  we  are  not  informed ; 

«  Knyghton,  (Twiiden,)  p.  2244w  f  Rot  Lit  Pat  p.  99. 

Digitized  by 



perhaps  the  king  may  not  hare  wished  to  make  Eustace  an 
implacable  foe^  or  caprice  may  have  led  him  to  annul  the 

The  king  visited  Alnwick  Castle  again  on  January  SGth, 
1213 ;  and  on  February  Snd^  he  was  at  Warkworth.  It  is 
not  easy  to  discover  the  reason  of  this  capricious  king's 
movements;  posssibly^  he  at  this  time  visited  the  norths 
that  he  might  endeavour  by  his  personal  influence  to  produce 
a  favourable  feeling  towards  him  in  the  minds  of  the  northern 
barons.  Not  long  afterwards^  however,  he  was  reconciled  to 
Rome  by  becoming  a  vassal  of  the  pope,  and  by  engaging  to 
restore  to  the  barons,  who  had  adhered  to  the  pope,  their 
estates.  Respecting  Eustace  de  Yescy  we  find  it  stated  in 
one  of  the  rolls  dated  Winton,  21  July,  1213,  that  unless  the 
king  restored  to  him  all  his  hereditaments,  he  would  again 
fall  under  the  sentence  of  excommunication.*  The  sheriff, 
therefore,  was  commanded  on  July  19th,  1213,  to  give 
Eustace  de  Yescy  full  seisen  of  all  his  lands,  fees,  castles,  and 
other  liberties;  and  soon  afterwards,  the  oxen  and  horses 
which  had  been  taken  from  him,  and  his  arms  which  were 
in  Alnwick  Castle  were  restored  to  him.  A  more  kindly 
feeling  to  Eustace  seems  to  have  grown  up  in  the  king's 
mind ;  for  in  1215,  he  commanded  the  sheriff  to  give  '^  to 
our  beloved  and  faithful  Eustace  de  Yescy"  the  liberties 
with  his  dogs  in  the  forest  of  Northumberland,  which  he 
was  formerly  accustomed  to  enjoy. 

This  courtesy,  however,  did  not  prevent  Eustace  de  Yescy 
joining  the  great  confederation  of  barons,  who,  in  1215,  forced 
from  the  English  king  the  celebrated  Magna  Charta ;  and  he 
was  one  of  the  twenty-five  barons,  who  were  appointed 
its  conservators,  and  entrusted  with  extensive  powers  to 
enforce  the  observance  of  its  conditions.  After  granting 
this  charter,  John  became  sullen  and  melancholy.  Accus- 
tomed to  tyrannise,  he  could  not  submit  to  fulfil  his  obliga- 
tions ;  and  he  retired  to  the  Isle  of  Wight,  brooding  over 
schemes  for  inflicting  revenge  and  regaining  power.  He 
sought  the  aid  of  the  pope,  and  hired  foreign  mercenaries ; 
and  having  subdued  several  strongholds  in  the  south,  he 
marched  against  the  northern  barons. 

The  brave  old  King  William  had  died  on  December  4th, 
1214,  and  his  son  Alexander,  a  youth  only  fifteen  years  of 
age,  was  on  the  Scottish  throne.      The  northern  barons 

*  Cal  Rot,  15  John,  Mem.  10. 

Digitized  by 



sought  his  protection^  and  did  homage  to  him  at  Felton,  on 
the  2&id  of  October^  1215.*  He  had  previously  invested 
Norham ;  but  as  that  stout  castle  could  not  be  taken  after  being 
assaulted  forty  days,  the  siege  was  raised.  Enraged  at  these 
proceedings,  John  pursued  his  march  with  great  expedition 
in  the  depth  of  winter.  His  mercenaries,  as  he  advanced, 
committed  horrible  ravages,  destrojring  by  fire  and  sword  the 
houses,  towns,  and  lands  of  the  confederated  barons.  In  the 
course  of  a  week,  he  burnt  Mitford,  Morpeth,  Wark,  and 
Alnwick  ;t  and  crossing  into  Scotland,  Roxburgh  and  the 
villages  around  shared  the  same  fate.  The  castle  and  town 
of  Berwick  he  took;  and  a  hired  band  of  professional  tormen- 
tors inflicted  on  the  inhabitants  the  most  horrible  cruelties. 
He  burnt  Dunbar  and  Haddington,  and  laid  waste  the 
Lothians.  Alexander,  the  Scottish  king,  encamped  with  a 
great  army  on  the  river  Esk,  near  Pentland,  with  the  design 
of  intercepting  him ;  but  John  would  not  risk  a  battle ;  the 
English  lung  was  more  in  his  element  among  scenes  of  rapine 
and  among  defenceless  women  and  children,  than  on  the 
battle-field.  He  returned  the  way  he  came,  and  his  footsteps 
were  marked  with  blood.  Coldingham  Abbey  he  plundered; 
Berwick  he  burnt  down ;  and  so  base  was  he,  that  he  set  fire 
with  his  own  hands  to  the  house  in  which  he  had  lodged. 
Alexander,  unable  to  impede  the  progress  of  the  English 
king,  too  faithfully  imitated  his  atrocities ;  entering  England 
on  the  western  border,  he  ravaged  Cumberland,  and  plun- 
dered the  abbey  of  Holmcultram. j: 

The  combined  power  of  John  and  the  pope  proved  too 
strong  for  the  confederated  barons  and  the  Scottish  king ; 
the  Imrons,  therefore,  reduced  to  extremity  and  in  despair, 
offered  their  allegiance  to  Philip,  king  of  France,  if  he  would 
deliver  them  from  their  detested  sovereign.  French  aid,  and 
the  desertion  of  part  of  John's  mercenary  soldiers,  enabled 
the  barons  to  make  Louis,  the  Dauphin,  master  of  a  great 
part  of  England.  Alexander,  on  being  summoned,  marched 
again  into  England  with  a  powerful  army,  committing  depre- 
dations on  the  lands  of  the  adherents  of  the  English  king. 
He  was  joined  by  the  northern  barons,  among  whom  was 

*  Chron.  Mailroi. 

f  Chron.  Mailr.  Abbey,  p.  190,  which  layt,  on  the  1 1th  of  Jannary  the  Till  of 
Wark  was  bomt ;  on  the  9th,  Alnwick ;  on  the  7th,  Mitford  and  Morpeth ;  on 
the  16th»  Roxburgh,  with  many  little  villagea. 

X  Fordnn,  1.  IX.,  e.  28. 

Digitized  by 



Eustace  de  Vescy.  This  army  had  advanced  into  Durham 
and  invested  Barnard  Castle,  which  belonged  to  Hugh  de 
Baliol ;  and  while  reconnoitreing  the  defences  of  the  place^ 
Eustace  de  Vescy  was  mortally  wounded  by  the  shot  of  a 
cross-bow  from  the  walls  of  the  castle,*  which  pierced  his 
brain,  and  he  died  on  the  spot.  His  death  was  mourned  by 
his  brother-in-law,  the  Scottish  king,  and  was  felt  as  a  heavy 
blow  to  the  cause  of  the  confederated  barons. 

Not  long  after,  on  the  19th  of  October,  1216,  England  was 
delivered  from  her  perilous  condition  by  the  death  of  John, 
unquestionably  the  most  odious  tyrant  that  ever  filled  the 
English  throne. 

Eustace  was  only  forty-five  years  of  age  when  he  died. 
He  was  married  at  Boxburgh,  in  1193,  to  Margery,  or  Mar- 
garet, as  she  is  called  in  one  of  the  charters  of  Alnwick 
Abbey,  the  illegitimate  daughter  of  William  the  Lion,  king 
of  Scotland,  and  by  her  he  left  one  son,  William  de  Vescy. 
In  1173,  he  paid  to  the  sheiiff  £6  18s.  5d.  for  purpresture, 
that  is  making  an  enclosure  from  the  king's  demesne  or  forest ; 
and,  in  1S08,  he  obtained  from  King  John  a  grant  of  a  port 
at  Auenemue  (Alnmouth),  of  a  market  there  on  every  Wed- 
nesday, and  of  a  fair  on  St.  Edmund's  Day  (the  20th  of 
November,)  and  on  the  day  foUowing.f 

Eustace  passed  his  life  actively  engaged  in  political  move- 
ments and  incessant  warfare;  and  slain  when  still  in  the 
prime  of  life,  he  had  neither  the  time  nor  the  repose,  which 
might  have  led  to  the  foundation  of  many  religious  or  charit- 
able establishments.  He,  however,  founded  the  chapel  of 
St.  Leonard's  in  the  parish  of  Alnwick,  for  the  soul  of  his 
wife's  grandfather  Malcolm  and  his  son  Edward.  With  his 
wife  Margery,  he  obtained  the  manor  of  Sprouston ;  and  the 
monks  there  agreed  that  Eustace  and  his  wife  might  build  a 
chapel  in  the  courts  of  Sprouston,  where  they  might  have 
divine  service.  Eustace  confirmed  to  the  monks  all  their 
possessions  in  Sprouston ;  and  granted  to  the  monks  of 
Kelso,  in  perpetual  alms,  an  annuity  of  twenty  shilUnss 
out  of  the  mills  at  Sprouston  to  light  their  church,  in 
lieu  of  the  tithes  of  the  mill,  on  condition  of  the  monks 
receiving  him  and  his  wife  into  the  society  of  their  house, 
absolving  the  souls  of  his  father  and  mother,  and  making 
them  partakers  for  ever  of  all  the  spiritual  privileges  of  the 

•  ChioxL  Dunstable.    WendoTer.  t  Cal  Rot  Cart 

Digitized  by 




Eustace  de  Vescy  dying  an  enemy  to  his  sovereign,  his 
estates  were  forfeited.  One  half  of  his  lands  was  bestowed 
by  King  John  in  the  last  year  of  his  reign,  on  Philip  de 
Ulecot,  then  sheriff  of  Northumberland,  and  the  other  half 
on  William  de  Harecurt,  his  seneschal.*  On  the  death  of 
the  king,  the  mother  of  William  de  Vescy  sent  her  son,  heir 
of  Eustace  and  then  a  minor,  to  the  earl  of  Pembroke,  who 
was  regent  of  England  during  the  minority  of  Henry  III. 
But  in  1218,  the  king  committed  to  William  de  Duston  and 
Ralph  de  Norwich,  the  custody  of  Alnwick  Castle  and  of  the 
lands  which  belonged  to  Eustace  de  Vescy  during  the  will  of 
the  king.  In  the  following  year,  he  granted  to  his  uncle  the 
earl  of  Salisbury,  not  only  the  custody  of  these  lands,  but 
also  the  wardship  and  marriage  of  the  heir  to  the  barony  of 
Alnwick.  And,  in  the  exercise  of  this  privilege,  the  earl 
gave  his  daughter  in  marriage  to  William  de  Vescy ,t  the 
young  heir.  The  castle,  however,  was  retained  for  some 
time  longer  in  the  custody  of  Edward  de  Tyes. 

Though  England  was  rent  with  factions  during  the  feeble 
reign  of  Henry  III.,  yet  fortunately  for  Northumberland, 
there  was  peace  along  the  Borders,  which  was  due  to  the 
friendly  feeling  between  the  Scottish  and  English  monarchs, 
arising  from  the  marriage  of  Margaret,  Henry's  eldest  daugh- 
ter, to  Alexander,  the  king  of  Scotland.  William  de  Vescy, 
however,  seldom  appears  on  the  public  stage ;  he  passed  his 
life  in  obscurity,  but  he  may  nevertheless  have  been  a  good 
and  useful  man,  devoted  to  the  improvement  of  his  estates 
and  of  the  people  who  dwelt  upon  them;  for  history  has 
been  more  busy  in  blazoning  forth  splendid  crimes,  than  in 
recording  the  virtues  of  private  life.  With  the  king  he  seems 
to  have  been  a  favourite,  for  in  1244  he  procured  a  grant  of 
five  bucks  and  ten  does,  to  be  taken  out  of  the  king's  parks 
in  Northumberland,  to  store  his  own  park  at  Alnwick.  In 
1251  he  obtained  a  grant  of  a  fair  and  market  at  Chatton, 
and  a  fair  and  market  at  Alnmouth.^ 

•  Rot  Lit.  CUus. 

f  A  William  de  Vescy  is  in  the  list  collected  by  Mr.  Wi£^,  of  crosaders  who 
accompanied  Eichard  I.  to  the  Holy  Land  in  1191 ;  but  this  mast  be  a  different 
person  from  the  baron  of  Alnwick,  who  was  a  minor  in  1218.  He  may  hare 
been  the  William  de  Vescy  who  witnesses  a  charter  of  the  first  baron  William  do 
Vescy,  and  who  is  designated  **  meo  fratre.*' 

X  Cal  Rot  Lit 

Digitized  by 



He  died  in  1S52.  His  first  wife  Isabella^  who  died  before 
him  and  lefk  no  issue,  was  buried  in  Alnwick  Abbey ;  but  by 
his  second  wife  Agnes,  the  daughter  of  William  de  Ferrers, 
earl  of  Derby,  he  left  issue  two  sons,  John  and  William. 
He  permitted  the  Carmelite  monks  to  inhabit  and  possess 
the  site  of  Holn  Abbey ;  and  to  Alnwick  Abbey  he  gave 
Scurlwood  and  many  other  goods.  To  the  burgesses  of  Aln- 
wick he  granted  a  charter  confirming  their  privileges. 

The  *'  Testa  de  Neville  or  Liber  Feodorum,"  which  con- 
tains  the  names  of  the  vills,  sergeantries,  and  knights  fees, 
taken  by  inquisition  in  the  time  of  Henry  III.  and  Edward 
I.,  gives  authentic  information,  not  only  of  the  Vescy  pro- 
perty held  under  the  king  in  chief  at  this  period,  but  also 
of  the  subfeudations  under  the  mesne  lord.*  The  document 
being  important,  I  give  a  translation  of  that  portion  which 
relates  to  the  Northumberland  possessions,  retaining,  how- 
ever, the  original  spelling  of  names. 

''babony  of  de  vescy. 

William  de  Yesoy  holds  in  chief  of  the  lord  the  king, 

Aunewie,  Auneimuwe,  Denwye,  Haukehall,  Bylton,  Letebyre, 
Bohipplingbothill,  Neuton  upon  the  Moor,  Heysand,  Gynis, 
Ruggeley,  Morewyc,  East  Chivineton,  Great  Houtton,  Little 
Houtton,  Howyc,  Benington,  Bok,  North  Oharleton,  South 
Gharleton,  Falwedon,  Bumeton,  Batayll,  Neuton  on  the  Sea, 
Preston,  Tughall,  Swinhou,  Neuham,  Cumyn,  Lukre  with  Hopum 
its  member,  Hetheriston,  Spinlistan,  Bodhill,  Ewrth,  Dodingtoif 
with  Nesebit  its  member,  Horton,  Turbervill,  Hesilrig,  Leum, 
Chatton,  Folebery,  Wetwod,  Caldemerton,  Yherdhill,  A^erham 
with  Beveley  and  Hertishevid  its  members,  Randon,  Batayll, 
Prendewie,  Alneham,  Chirmundisden,  Bidlisden,  ClenhiU,  Ned- 
deorton,  Burweton,  Alwemton,  Hetton,  Ambell,  Scharberton, 
Thimum,  Sc'nenwoodyf  Hauekislawe,  Ohevelingham,  and  Hib- 

Of  the  same  William,  Bichard  de  HauekehiU  holds  Hauekehill 
by  one  fee  of  anoient  feoffinent. 

Hervey  de  Bilton  holds  Bilton  by  one  fee  of  ancient  feoffinent. 

Bobert  de  Hilton  holds  Schiplingbehill,  Neuton,  Haysand, 
Ctynis,  and  Beniogton,  by  two  fees  of  ancient  feofiment. 

Beynerus  Teutonicus  holds  Buggeley  by  a  fourth  of  one  fee  of 
new  feofi&nent. 

Hugh  de  Morewic  holds  Morewyc  and  East  Ohivington  by 
one  fee  and  a  half  of  anoient  (feoffinent.) 

«  In  the  next  chapter  some  account  will  be  given  of  these  tenarei- 
I  Screnwood. 

Digitized  by 



John  Harengs  holds  litile  Houtton  by  one  fee  of  ancient 

Adam  Bjbaud  holds  Ho  wye  bv  one  fee  of  ancient  feoffment. 

William  de  Eok  holds  Rok  by  half  a  fee  of  ancient  feoffinent. 

Koger,  son  of  Ralph,  holds  North  Gharleton  and  Hetheriston 
by  one  fee  of  ancient  feoffment. 

Simon  de  Lucre  holds  Luker  with  Hopnm  its  member,  Suth 
Charleton,  and  Falwedon,  by  one  fee  of  ancient  feofiment. 

Walter  BataiU  holds  Bumeton  and  Reston  by  one  fee  of 
ancient  feoffment. 

John  de  Viscount  holds  Neuton  on  the  Sea  and  Yherdhill  by 
one  fee  of  ancient  feofi&nent. 

Roger  Carbunel  holds  one  fourth  part  of  Swinhou  by  one 
fourth  part  of  one  fee  of  ancient  feofl&nent. 

David  Comyn  holds  Neuham  by  half  a  fee  of  ancient  feoffinent. 

Philip  de  la  Ley  holds  a  moiety  of  Spinlistan  and  of  Bodhill 
by  half  a  fee  of  ancient  feoffinent. 

William  de  Coleville  holds  the  other  moiety  of  the  aforesaid 
vills  by  half  a  fee  of  ancient  feoffinent. 

Ranulf  Brun  holds  three  parts  of  Ewrth  by  the  third  part  of 
one  fee  of  ancient  feoffment. 

Hugo  de  Bolbec  holds  Dodington,  Wetwood,  and  Nesebit, 
by  one  fee  of  ancient  feoffment. 

William  Turborrill  holds  Horton  by  half  a  fee  of  ancient 

William  de  Folebyry  holds  Folebyry,  Caldmerton,  and  Hesil- 
^gj  by  one  fee  of  ancient  feoffinent. 

Gilbert  de  Humframvill  holds  Alwenton,  Bidlisden,  denhill, 
dhirmundisden,  Scharberton,  Thirmum,  Burwedon,  Neddirton, 
Raudham,  and  Angerham,  by  two  fees  of  ancient  feoffinent,  and 
by  one  gosshawk  {austurcum  swum,) 

Walter  Bataill  and  Thomas  Bunte  hold  Sc'nenwood  by  the 
third  part  of  one  fee  of  ancient  feoffioaent. 

Robert  de  Clifford  holds  Hetton  by  half  a  fee  of  ancient 

Robert  de  Muschamp  holds  Chevelingham  and  Hibbum  by 
free  marriage. 

The  heirs  of  Eustace  de  Manners  hold  Leum,  excepting  two 
oxgangs*  of  land,  by  the  third  part  of  one  fee  of  ancient  feoff- 

Germanus  de  Leum  holds  two  oxgangs  of  land  in  the  same 
by  the  eighteenth  part  of  one  fee  of  ancient  feoffinent." 

The  seal  of  William  de  Yescy  is  appended  to  his  grant  to 
the  burgesses  of  Alnwick.  The  arms  are  described  in  a 
heraldic  roll  as  "  Goules,  a  ung  croix  patonce  d'argent"— 
Plate  IV.,  Jiff.  1. 

«  See  note  p.  78. 

Digitized  by 




John  de  Vescy,  son  and  heir  of  William,  was  born  on  the 
15th  of  August,  1244;  and  being  only  eight  years  old  when 
his  father  died,  the  custody  of  the  lands  to  which  he  was 
heir,  and  of  the  castle  and  manor  of  Alnwick,  was  committed 
by  the  king  to  Peter  de  Savoy,  **  until  the  legitimate  heir 
was  of  age."  His  mother  Agnes  had  for  her  dower  Tuggal, 
in  the  county  of  Northumberland,  and  the  lordships  of  Mal- 
ton  and  Langton,  in  Yorkshire,  which  after  her  decease, 
passed  into  the  custody  of  the  king. 

According  to  the  chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey,  John  de 
Vescy  was  twice  married;  first  to  Agnes,  daughter  of  Manfred 
Saluz,  *^who  was  nursed  in  the  chamber  of  the  queen  of  Eng- 
land, wife  of  the  illustrious  Henry  III. ;"  and  next  to  Lady 
Isabella  de  Beaumont,  allied  to  the  queen  of  England,  "  and 
this  Isabella  survived  him  and  did  many  good  deeds." 

For  some  years,  during  the  reign  of  Henry  III.,  friendly 
feelings  were  maintained  between  England  and  Scotland; 
and  in  1249,  the  first  series  of  "  border  laws  "  providing  for 
the  administration  of  justice  and  regulating  the  intercourse 
of  the  inhabitants  of  the  border-lands,  were  reduced  to  writ- 
ing.* So  strong  were  these  feelings,  that  when  Scotland, 
during  the  minority  of  her  king,  was,  through  the  turbulence 
of  her  lawless  nobles  reduced  to  a  state  of  anarchy,  Henry^ 
king  of  England,  was  requested  to  lend  his  friendly  aid  to 
restore  order  and  confidence  to  the  distracted  nation.  For 
this  purpose  he  went  to  the  Scottish  border  in  1255 ;  and  on 
his  return,  rested  at  Alnwick  Castle  on  the  23rd  of  September 
in  the  same  year,  when  he  left  full  powers  to  the  earl  of 
Gloucester  and  John  Maunsel  to  treat  and  conclude  in  his 
name  with  all  manner  of  Scots  persons. 

The  feeble  character,  capricious  temper,  and  arbitrary  will 
of  Henry  III.  roused  the  barons  of  England  to  rebellion. 
Headed  by  Simon  de  Montford,  the  great  earl  of  Leicester, 
they  wrested  the  power  out  of  the  king's  hands,  and  under 
the  regulations  called  *'  the  Oxford  Provisions,"  established 
a  council  of  twenty-four,  to  whom  in  effect  was  given  the 
government  of  the  kingdom.  The  indiscreet  exercise  of  their 
enormous  power  led,  however,  to  a  reaction  in  the  king's 
fiivour.  Civil  war  ensued ;  John  de  Vescy  took  part  with 
the  barons,  and  his  name  was  subscribed  to  a  letter  sent  in 
1263  from  the  barons,  consenting  to  refer  the  dispute  to  tlie 

*  Some  account  of  these  laws  will  be  given  in  another  chapter. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


decision  of  the  king  of  France.  At  the  battle  of  Lewes , 
when  the  royalists  were  overthrown,  and  the  king  and  his 
son  the  gallant  Prince  Edward  were  taken  prisoners,  a  Percy 
fought  for  the  king,  and  John  de  Vescy  the  lord  of  Alnwick 
on  the  side  of  the  barons.  The  power  of  M ontford  and  of 
the  council  was  brought  to  an  end  by  the  decisive  and  bloody 
battle  of  Evesham,  fought  on  the  4tn  of  August,  1265,  when 
the  earl  of  Leicester  and  his  son,  and  most  of  the  barons 
associated  with  him,  were  slain ;  but  John  de  Vescy,  who 
fought  with  them,  was  wounded  and  taken  prisoner.*  The 
fall  of  Montford  was  deeply  mourned  by  the  people  of  Eng- 
land, by  whom  he  was  regarded  as  the  great  champion  of 
freedom,  and  as  a  martyr  to  liberty.  Though  his  remains 
were  brutally  mutilated  by  the  royalists,  yet  were  they 
revered  by  the  people  as  sacred  relics.  Long  after  his  death, 
he  was  spoken  of  as  '^  Sir  Simon  the  Righteous."  John  de 
Vescy  his  friend  brought  with  him,  after  his  liberation  from 
captivity,  the  foot  of  this  sainted  hero,  and  deposited  it  in 
Alnwick  Abbey ;  and  there  it  was  enclosed  in  a  silver  slipper, 
and  regarded  as  a  most  valuable  relic,  endowed  with  the 
power  of  miraculously  curing  diseases.  This  distinguished 
statesman  was  connected  by  property  with  the  district  around 
Alnwick.  He  was  possessed  of  the  barony  of  Embleton,  and 
in  liS57,  obtained  a  charter  to  hold  a  market  and  fair  at 
^^Emeldon;"  and  in  1256,  a  charter  to  enclose  Shipley 
wood,  which  was  within  the  forest  of  Northumberland.f 

After  this  royal  triumph,  the  estates  of  John  de  Vescy 
were  confiscated,  and  he  was  ejected  as  a  rebel  from  Alnwick 
Castle  and  barony,  by  an  act  of  a  parliament  which  met  at 
Winchester.  Enraged  by  this  punishment,  he  entered  into 
a  new  combination  with  other  rebellious  barons  in  the  north, 
and  by  force  seized  on  Alnwick  Castle  and  barony;  but 
Prince  Edward  advanced  with  a  large  army,  laid  siege  to  the 
castle,  and  soon  reduced  John  de  Vescy  to  such  straits,  that 
he  was  compelled  to  yield  up  the  castle  and  to  throw  himself 
on  the  clemency  of  the  prince.}     In  the  pipe  roll  we  find 

*  ChroD.  Rishanger,  p.  47.  f  Cal  Rot  Cart 

I  FoHun,  1.  X.,  c.  20.  Wicke*8  ChroD.,  p.  78.  A  reference  to  thia  siege  in 
one  of  the  rolls  presents  a  sad  picture  of  the  lawless  condition  of  Northumberland. 
William  de  Duglaa  was  charged  by  Gilbert  de  Umfraville,  lord  of  Redesdale,  and 
John  de  Herlaw,  of  giving  false  intelligence  to  the  prince  in  the  siege  of  Alnwick 
Castle,  and  of  being  an  enemy  to  the  king.  Duglaa  held  the  manor  of  Fawdon 
as  subfeudatory  of  Umfrayille,  by  service  of  half  a  knight's  fee ;  and  UmfraviUe 

Digitized  by 



that  the  king,  by  writ,  ordered  fifty-three  marks  to  be  paid 
to  the  prince  towards  his  expenses,  when  in  the  north  besieg- 
ing Alnwick  Castle.*  John  de  Yescy  was  pardoned ;  and 
his  accomplices,  alarmed  at  the  result,  abandoned  their 
rebellious  attempt.  In  the  following  year,  1S66,  the  '^  Dic- 
tum de  Kenilworth,"  sanctioned  by  the  king  and  parliament 
was  published,  in  which  more  lenient  terms  were  offered  to 
the  rebellious  barons.  John  de  Yescy  accepted  the  gracious 
offer;  and  on  the  payment  of  a  fine,  amounting  to  a  few  years 
rent,  he  was  restored  to  his  estates. 

Feeling  possibly  remorse  for  his  turbulence  and  rebellion, 
or  influenced  hy  the  chivalrous  character  of  Prince  Edward, 
he  went  with  him  in  1270  to  the  Holy  Land.t  As  a  crusader 
John  de  Yescy  held  an  honourable  position.  When  Prince 
Edward  was  wounded  by  an  assassin  with  a  poisoned  weapon, 
he  stood  by  his  side,  as  the  skilful  chirurgeon  cut  away  the 
gangrened  flesh  from  his  arm.$ 

On  his  return  to  England  John  de  Yescy  was  made 
goyemor  of  Scarborough  Castle.  In  the  8th  of  Edward  I. 
he  rendered  into  the  hands  of  the  king,  forty  librates  of 
lands  in  "  Alnemue,  of  the  value  of  £40 ;  eleven  librates  and 
ninty-six  acres  in  Swynhoe,  value  £11  8s.  8fd. ;  eighty- 
seven  librates  and  one  hundred  and  eleven  and  a  quarter 
acres  in  Hocton,  value  £87  9s.  3d. ;  two  hundred  and 
twenty-nine  acres  in  Seyton,  value  19s.  Id.;  and  eighty- 
six  librates  and  one  hundred  and  fourteen  and  thzee- 
qnarter  acres  in  Lessebury,  value  £86  98.  6d."  These  were 
committed  to  the  custody  of  William  de  Ippel,  ''as  long  as 
the  king  pleased  ;''  and  they  were  afterwards  granted  again 
by  charter  from  the  king  to  John  and  his  wife ;  on  the  death 
of  John  they  were  resumed  by  the  king  and  then  again  be- 
stowed by  him  on  Isabella.^  These  lands  were  part  of  her 
dower.     This  record  shews  that  a  librate  expressed  value,  or 

■ought  to  have  this  manor  to  himself,  which  the  prince  granted,  provided  he  could 
piove  the  charge.  But  after  an  investigation,  Duglas  was  pronounced  innocent, 
and  the  sheriff  was  ordered  to  restore  to  him  the  manor ;  hut  Umfiraville  aod 
Herlaw  sent  one  hundred  enemies  of  the  king  from  Redesdale,  who  carried  off  all 
the  goods  and  chattels  of  Duglas,  and  nearly  cut  off  his  head  with  a  sword.  These 
lawless  harons,  however,  escaped  unpunished  as  sufficient  legal  evidence  could 
not  he  produced  to  prove  their  complicity  in  this  outrage.  Abh.  Plact.  Rot  28, 
in  dozso. 

*  Pipe  Roll,  58  Heory  III.  f  Chron.  Hemmgford,  1.  III.,  cap.  85. 

X  Knyghton,  p.  2438.  f  CaL  Rot  Cart,  &c. 

Digitized  by 



as  much  land  as  was  worth  one  pound  yearly;  and  as  it 
further  appears^  that  land  in  this  district  was  then  worth  one 
penny  per  acre  yearly,  a  librate  must  have  contained  two 
hundred  and  forty  acres  * 

In  most  of  the  military  movements  of  the  time  John  de 
Vescy  took  a  part.  Knyghton  says,  King  Henry  sustained 
great  wars  in  Gascony  twice,  where  the  first  war  was  moved 
by  Bernard  de  Bleynes,  and  was  indeed  finished  by  JohnVaus 
and  John  de  Vescy  at  that  time.f  John  de  Vescy's  last 
campaign  was  in  1388,  with  Edward  I.  in  France,  who  was 
engaged  in  hostilities  with  some  of  his  French  subjects  ;  and 
he  died  while  there  at  Mount  Pestulan  in  Gascony.  Allan 
Abbot  of  Alnwick  Abbey,  caused  his  bones  to  be  brought  to 
England,  and  they  were  buried  on  the  26th  February,  1288, 
with  great  honour  in  Alnwick  Conventual  Church.  By 
charter  he  endowed  Holu  Abbey,  and  he  confirmed  all  the 
gifts  ^bestowed  by  his  father  on  the  monastery  of  Alnwick; 
*^  and  many  greater,"  charitably  says  the  chronicler,  *^  he 
would  have  bestowed  on  us  had  he  survived  a  little  time." 

Previous  to  his  time  the  Vescys  of  Alnwick,  were  barons 
by  tenure ;  but  he  was  also  a  baron  by  writ,  as  he  was  so 
summoned  by  the  king  to  the  parliament,  held  on  the  14th 
of  December,  1264,  in  the  49th  of  Henry  III. 


John  de  Vescy  dying  without  issue,  his  brother  William 
succeeded  to  the  barony  of  Alnwick  and  his  other  possessions. 

*  This  confirms  the  accuracy  of  the  rendering  of  Cowel  and  Blount  ;*' with  us" 
they  say,  '*  a  librate  is  so  much  land  as  is  yearly  worth  twenty  shillings."  Skene 
says  that  a  librate  contains  four  oxgangs,  and  every  oxgang  thirteen  acres;  but  this 
definition  is  not  consistent  with  the  ascertained  acreage  of  a  librate  in  the  Alnwick 
district.  In  England  the  oxgang  varies  from  eight  to  thirty  acres;  and  unlike 
the  librate,  it  cannot  be  considered  dependant  on  value.  In  the  the  same  district 
we  find  the  oxgang  differing  50  per  cent.,  and  rating  by  oxgang  was  abolished  in 
South  Durham  for  the  very  reason  that  the  oxgang  consisted  of  tlie  same  quantity 
of  acres  whether  the  land  was  good  or  bad.  It  has  been  suggested,  that  the 
customary  number  of  oxen  to  the  team  has  much  to  do  with  the  matter ;  where 
they  were  not  alternate,  the  extent  of  the  oxgang  would  be  much  less.  It  is  here 
presumed,  that  while  the  carucate  was  what  one  plough  could  cultivate  in  the 
year,  the  oxgang  was  the  supposed  capability  of  each  unit  of  the  team.  Sufficient 
pasture  for  the  keep  of  the  oxen  was  probably  included  in  the  computation. 
Kear  Darlington  certain  meadows  were  divided  into  oxgang  rights, 

t  Knyghton,  p.  2429. 

Digitized  by 



He  was  bom  on  the  ISth  of  October,  1245 ;  and  living  only 
nine  years  after  becoming  lord  of  Alnwick,  his  history  pre- 
sents few  facts  of  much  interest.  He  is  chiefly  memorable 
as  a  candidate  for  the  Scottish  throne ;  as  the  last  of  his 
family  connected  with  Alnwick ;  and  as  the  last  baron  who 
gave  property  and  privileges  to  the  burgesses  of  Alnwick. 
By  his  sovereign,  however,  he  was  held  in  great  esteem ;  in 
the  13th  of  Edward  I.,  he  was  appointed  justice  of  all  the 
king's  forests.  Subsequently  he  was  made  a  justice  in  Ire- 
land, where,  through  his  mother,  he  inherited  lands ;  and  on 
the  death  of  his  brother's  wife  Isabella,  he  succeeded  to  the 
government  of  Scarborough  Castle.  In  the  years  1294, 
1295,  and  1296,  he  was  employed  by  the  king  in  the  Gas- 
cony  wars,  and  on  one  occasion,  he  was  accompanied  by  his 
son  John. 

The  fierce  manners  and  rude  jurisprudence  of  the  period 
are  curiously  illustrated  by  the  proceedings  in  a  law  suit  to 
which  he  was  a  party  in  1293.  While  in  the  open  court  in 
the  city  of  Dublin,  (acting  as  I  suppose  as  judge)  he  was 
accused  by  John  Fitz-Thomas  of  felony.  William  de  Vescy 
commenced  a  suit  against  his  defamer  at  Dublin,  before  the 
chief  justice  and  king's  counsel,  charging  him  with  saying 
that  William  de  Vescy  had  solicited  Fitz-Thomas  to  join  in 
a  confederacy  against  the  king.  This,  Fitz-Thomas  denied, 
and  after  delivering  into  court  a  schedule  of  the  words  he 
had  used,  he  challenged  De  Vescy  to  a  judicial  combat;  and 
this  challenge  was  accepted.  The  king,  having  been  in- 
formed of  these  proceedings,  commanded  both  the  litigants 
to  appear  before  him,  prepared  for  combat.  William  de 
Vescy  came  at  the  appointed  time,  mounted  on  his  great 
horse  and  completely  armed  with  lance,  dagger,  coat  of  mail, 
and  other  military  accoutrements,  ready  to  enter  the  Hsts 
against  his  antagonist.  Fitz-Thomas  was  called  but  did  not 
appear ;  and  De  Vescy  then  demanded  judgment  against  his 
defamer.  A  decision,  however,  was  not  then  given,  but  the 
hearing  of  the  case  was  adjourned  till  the  next  meeting  of 
parliament  at  Westminster.  Both  barons  then  appeared  and 
the  case  was  fully  argued,  and  it  being  determined  that  no 
default  was  to  be  imputed  to  Fitz-Thomas  for  errors  in  the 
proceedings,  both  parties  were  at  liberty  to  begin  new  actions. 
Fitz-Thomas  declined  to  revive  the  quarrel  and  submitted 
himself  to  the  king.  What  was  further  done  is  not  known; 
but  probably  the  king,  wiser  than  these  turbulent  barons^ 
was  unwilling  that  a  trifling  quarrel  should  cause  bloodshed. 

Digptized  by 



01  that  a  dispute  should  be  left  to  the  uncertain  and  bar- 
barous arbitrement  of  a  duel.* 

William  de  Vescy  being  a  claimant  of  the  Scottish  throne, 
some  brief  notice  of  the  events  causing  him  to  make  that 
claim  is  required.  The  death  of  Alexander  III.,  by  a  fall 
from  his  horse,  in  A.D.  1286,  was  followed  by  deep  sorrow 
and  disorder  in  Scotland,  and  led  to  a  terrible  effusion  of 
both  Scottish  and  English  blood.  All  Alexander's  children 
were  dead,  and  his  only  descendant  was  Margaret,  the  infant 
daughter  of  Margaret  his  own  daughter  and  of  Eric  king  of 
Norway.  The  mother  died  soon  after  the  birth  of  her 
child.  There  was,  however,  a  happy  prospect  of  the  union 
of  England  and  Scotland  by  the  marriage  of  this  infant 
queen,  with  Edward  the  s<rti  of  the  English  monarch.  But, 
alas!  Margaret  died  on  one  of  the  Orkney  islands  when  on 
her  way  from  Norway  to  Scotland.  Edward  I.  had  con- 
quered Wales  and  annexed  it  to  his  dominions,  and  it  was 
the  cherished  wish  of  his  heart  to  bring  the  whole  island 
under  his  sway.  This,  however,  he  could  not  now  effect  by 
honest  or  honourable  means ;  the  prize  was  glittering,  and 
he  could  not  resist  the  temptation — and  to  obtain  possession 
he  resorted  to  deception,  finesse,  and  brute  force.  There 
was  no  near  heir  to  the  Scottish  throne ;  and  in  the  unsettled 
state  of  the  law  of  succession,  it  was  doubtful  who  was  the 
true  heir.  Scotland  was  weak  and  torn  by  factions;  but 
Edward  was  able  and  had  at  his  command  the  resources  of  a 
powerful  kingdom — and  he  unscrupulously  claimed,  as  lord 
paramount  over  Scotland,  the  right  to  decide  who  should 
sit  as  a  vain  pageant  on  the  throne;  for  he  was  deter- 
mined, whoever  might  be  nominal  king,  all  real  power  should 
be  exercised  by  himself.  There  were  but  three  candidates 
for  whose  claims  any  reasonable  grounds  could  be  urged ; 
but  through  the  secret  management  of  Edward,  the  num- 
ber was  increased  to  thirteen,  with  the  intention  of  giving 
greater  complication  to  the  question  at  issue,  and  to  exhibit 
the  greater  necessity  of  leferring  the  adjudication  to  him- 
self. One  of  these  claimants  was  William  de  Yescy,  the  lord 
of  Alnwick,  who  based  his  pretensions  on  being  a  descen- 
dant of  Margaret  an  illegitimate  daughter  of  William  the 
Lion,  king  of  Scotland.  In  Rymer's  Foedera  is  the  fol- 
lowing statement  of  his  claim : — 

'^William,  king  of  Scotland,  was  the  fiAfher  of  King  Alex- 
ander, who  reignra  alter  him. 

•  Dngdale's  Bar.,  Vol.  I.,  p.  9S. 

Digitized  by 



And  the  same  Alexander  was  the  &iher  of  Alexander  the 
Second,  who  reigned  afterwards,  and  married  Margaret,  the 
daughter  of  the  iUustrions  Henxy,  Hng  of  England,  by  whom  he 
had  a  daughter  Margaret,  who  was  afterwa^s  mairied  to  ike 
king  of  Norway. 

ijid  the  king  Und  qneen  of  Norway  had  a  daughter,  whom 
they  called  Margaret ;  and  she  was  heiress  of  Scotland,  but  she 
died  without  issue  of  her  own  body,  being  a  minor  at  her  decease. 

Now,  the  same  William,  king  of  Scotland,  was  the  father  of 
Margeiy,  the  sister  of  the  already  mentioned  King  Alexander. 

And  Margeiy  was  married  to  Eustace  de  Yesoy,  by  whom  he 
had  William  de  Yesoy,  who  died  in  Gascony ;  and  the  same  Wil- 
liam was  father  of  John  de  Yesoy,  who  died  without  heirs  of  his 
own  body;  and  William  de  Yesoy,  the  brother  of  John,  new 
petitions  for  the  kingdom  of  Scotland,  as  being  most  nearly 
allied  by  blood  to  the  already  mentioned  Margaret,  who  died 
without  any  heirs  from  himself,  and  by  whose  death  the  kingdom 
ought  to  revert  to  William,  who  now  petitions  for  it  in  this 

This  claim,  however,  was  frivolous,  for  Margery  was  ille- 
gitimate, and  by  no  rule  of  succession  could  inherit  the 
kingdom.  The  decision  of  Edward  in  favour  of  Baliol — 
the  enslavement  of  Scotland  for  a  time — the  heroism  of 
Wallace,  and  his  infamous  execution,  belong  to  the  general 
history  of  the  kingdom. 

Alnwick,  during  the  period,  appears  on  one  occasion  in  the 
page  of  history.  A  few  weeks  after  the  battle  of  Stirling  in 
1297,  the  heroic  Sir  William  Wallace  led  his  forces  across 
the  borders ;  his  principal  reason  for  this  invasion  is  said  to 
have  been  the  extreme  dearth  and  scarcity  prevailing  in 
Scotland,  arising  from  inclement  weather  and  the  calamities 
of  war.  The  head-quarters  of  his  army  was  the  forest  of 
Bothbury,  whence,  as  from  a  centre,  the  Scots  spread  them- 
selves over  Northumberland,  killing  many  of  the  inhabitants, 
and  collecting  great  spoils.  They  trampled  upon  and  wasted 
all  Northumberland,  even  to  Newcastle,  and  continued  burn- 
ing and  plundering  from  the  feast  of  All  Saints  till  Martin- 
mas, meeting  with  little  opposition  excepting  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Alnwick  Castle,  and  other  fortresses,  the  gkrri- 
sons  of  which  sent  out  parties  to  attack,  and  cut  off  the  rear 
of  the  marauders.* 

William  de  Vescy  died  at  Malton  at  the  vigil  of  St.  Mar- 
garet the  Virgin,  in  the  year  1297;  he  was  married  to 
Isabella  Wells,  daughter  of  Robert  Perington,  and  widow  of 

*  Hemingford.    Fordon,  L  XL,  c  29. 

Digitized  by 



Robert  Lord  Wells ;  and  by  her  he  had  one  son  John,  who 
was  born  on  the  14th  of  September,  1269,  and  who  died  in 
his  father's  lifetime  at  Conway,  on  the  27th  of  April,  1295. 
He  left  also  an  illegitmate  son  William. 

Though  there  may  be  much  in  the  conduct  of  the  De 
Vescys  of  which  our  modern  civilisation  may  disapprove,  yet 
judged  by  the  general  character  of  their  own  times,  we  can- 
not but  admit  that  most  of  them  were  great  men — ^historic 
personages — statesmen  as  well  as  warriors,  playing  prominent 
parts  in  important  national  movements,  and  leaving  an  im- 
press of  their  power  on  society.  Grasping  they  were  after 
great  possessions — and  they  obtained  them  ;  the  crown  was 
indeed,  glad  to  confer  large  possessions  for  large  military 
services,  though  royalty  was  sometimes  chagrined  when  they 
were  rendered  in  the  cause  of  Uberty.  The  Vescvs  were  not 
miserly  owners ;  their  gifts  to  the  church  were  large ;  they 
shewed  respect  to  the  ancient  rights  of  the  people,  to  their 
folc-lands,  though,  as  in  the  case  of  Alnwick,  confirming 
these  rights  under  new  feudal  conditions;  to  their  vassals 
they  dealt  out  the  lands,  of  which  they  had  the  primary 
seisen,  in  a  liberal  spirit,  creating  or  confirming  over  the 
district  a  very  numerous  body  of  proprietors,  holding  lands 
varied  in  extent,  under  different  tenures.  This  may  have 
been  a  necessity  of  the  times;  yet  it  contrasts  with  the 
condition  of  the  district  in  aftertimes,  when  we  find  the 
greater  part  of  these  proprietors  had  been  swept  away. 

The  pedigree  of  the  De  Vescys  will  appear  hereafter,  along 
with  that  of  the  Percys. 

Digitized  by 





With  William  de  Vesey  the  reign  of  the  De  Vescys  over 
Alnwick  came  to  an  end,  at  the  close  of  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury. From  the  conquest  to  this  time^  two  hundred  and 
twenty-three  years  had  gone  by — forming  an  important  era 
in  the  history  of  the  nation;  but  at  its  close  the  feudal  system 
was  breaking  up,  the  commons  were  rising  out  of  bondage ; 
the  reform  of  law,  initiated  by  the  great  barons  in  the  reign 
of  John,  had  been  carried  forward  by  Edward  the  English 
Justinian ;  the  different  conflicting  elements  of  which  the 
nation  was  composed,  had  been  nearly  fused  into  one  people; 
and  the  noble  composite  language,  which  the  English  now 
speak,  had  to  &  considerable  extent  assumed  its  peculiar  form 
and  character.  We  may,  therefore,  pause  here  in  our  general 
history,  to  notice  the  state  of  the  castle  of  Alnwick,  of  the 
town,  and  of  the  people  during  that  era. 

Undoubtedly  the  town  existed  from  the  earliest  period  of 
Norman  history ;  and  from  the  phraseology  of  the  charter  of 
Henry  II.  to  William  de  Vescy,  it  may  be  inferred  that  a 
castle  was  there  when  Yvo  de  Vescy  was  baroil  of  Alnwick.* 
Probably  he  began  the  work ;  for  we  can  scarcely  suppose 

*  "  Ad  tenendum  de  me  in  capite  Castrum  de  Alnewyco  et  totum  honorem 
qui  fait  Ivonis  de  Vesei.*' 

Digitized  by 



that  a  barony  so  extensive  as  Alnwick,  in  the  midst  of  a 
warlike  and  hostile  population,  and  near  to  the  borders,  and 
exposed,  therefore,  to  foreign  aggression,  would  be  long  with- 
out the  protection  of  a  Norman  stronghold.  Eustace  Fitz- 
John,  however,  completed  the  work ;  for  we  find  it  described 
in  1135^  ''munitissimum  castellum,"  a  very  strongly  fortified 
castle.  During  the  De  Yescy  period  it  attained  its  greatest 
massiveness  and  strength ;  and  covered  as  large  an  area  of 
ground  as  the  present  castle.  Formed  according  to  the  plan 
generally  adopted  by  the  Normans,  it  was  one  of  the  proudest 
and  most  important  strongholds  of  the  period — ^the  dwelling, 
the  fortress,  the  prison  of  a  great  baron.  It  was,  however, 
not  the  earliest  Norman  castle  in  the  north ;  Durham  Castle 
was  built  by  the  conqueror  in  1072,  Newcastle  by  his  son 
Robert  in  1080,  Carlisle  by  Rufus  in  1092;  that  of  Norham 
was  erected  by  Bishop  Flambard  in  1121. 

The  principal  part  was  the  donjon  or  keep,  which  in  most 
Norman  castles  in  England,  was  a  large  massive  square  or 
oblong  tower,  of  three  or  four  stories  height,  with  small 
narrow  windows  and  walls  of  immense  thickness.  The  keep 
at  Alnwick  stood  on  an  elevated  mound  on  the  north  side 
of  a  bailey,  which  was  as  large  as  that  connected  with  the 
present  castle,  and  was  enclosed  and  defended  by  a  wall 
strengthened  at  intervals  by  mural  towers.  The  area  of  the 
whole  was  about  five  acres,  and  would  afford  sufficient 
space  for  military  exercises.  A  ditch  defended  the  donjon, 
and  another  ditch  the  encircling  wall.  As  in  the  present 
castle,  the  old  entrance  would  be  on  the  west,  carefully 
guarded  by  massive  gates  with  portcullis,  which  could  be 
dropped  on  any  emergency;  and  this  defence  would  be 
further  strengthened  by  towers,  having  the  various  contriv- 
ances of  the  age  for  annoying  an  assailant.  From  the  remains 
of  a  great  Norman  gateway,  which  seems  to  ha^re  led  into  an 
inner  court,  and  from  discoveries  made  by  Mr.  F.  R.  Wilson 
while  the  castle  was  recently  in  course  of  restoration,  it  may 
be  inferred,  that  the  De  Vescy  keep  was  similar  in  extent 
and  arrangement  to  that  reconstructed  by  the  Percys.  A 
retaining  wall  of  Norman  masonry  was  found  on  the  inner 
side  of  the  ditch,  circling  round  the  keep;  and  the  foundations 
too,  of  round.  Norman  towers  were  observed.  This  keep, 
therefore,  differed  in  some  respects  from  the  common  Nor- 
man type,  and  resembled  those  of  a  later  age,  in  being  com- 
posed of  a  series  of  rounded  towers  grouped  around  an  inner 
court  or  ward.     Here  lived  the  great  baron  and  his  £GLmily, 

Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 


ARCH  OF  TITR  Tinvj-IAN  lUEF   EFJ-.CTEI;  ABnUT  AD  114^ 
km   FEPXY  np-AVv'  WELL. 


Digitized  by  Vj'O'O vie  '  '  '  ■  ''' 

CASTLBy  BARONY^  AND   TOWN — ^DB   VB8CY   PERIOD.        86 

and  his  principal  vassals ;  and  as  being  the  strongest  part  of 
the  fortress^  the  garrison  would  here  find  refuge  when  other 
defences  were  taken.  In  the  erection  of  such  strongholds, 
security  was  the  great  object  to  be  attained ;  safe  this  castle 
may  have  been,  yet  it  was  a  gloomy  residence,  a  grim  build- 
ing, looking  stern  and  defiant,  and  boasting  of  few  of  the 
appliances  of  civilised  life;  yet  within  its  great  hall  the 
music  of  the  harp  and  the  song  of  the  minstrel  would  hush, 
for  a  while,  the  loud  and  boisterous  revelry  of  the  rude  feudal 

Standing  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Aln,  on  a  kind  of 
peninsula  formed  by  the  junction  of  the  Bow-bum  with  the 
river,  the  site  of  this  great  castle  had  some  natural  advan- 
tages. On  the  north,  the  river  with  its  high  steep  bank  was 
a  strong  defence;  and  along  the  south  and  east  sides  ran 
the  Bow-bum,  which  though  but  a  tiny  stream,  yet  when 
swollen  with  rains  from  the  hills,  mshed  down  with  a  force 
which  had  hollowed  out  of  the  sand  and  gravel  a  deep 
channel,  especially  on  the  eastern  side  of  the  castle.  This 
channel  was  converted  into  a  moat  or  ditch;  and  the  defences 
were  completed  by  an  artificial  ditch  cut  between  the  Bow- 
bum  and  the  steep  bank  of  the  river;  and  as  this  ran  along 
the  western  side  of  the  castle,  it  gave  an  additional  protection 
to  the  gateway. 

This  castle  has  been  subject  to  so  much  destruction  by 
war  and  by  time,  and  to  so  many  alterations  and  renova- 
tions, that  we  cannot  expect  to  find  much  of  the  Norman 
work  remaining.  However,  some  portions  of  the  present 
castle,  marked  by  even  courses  of  small  stones,  belong  to 
this  period ;  the  lower  part  of  the  wall  between  the  Abbot's 
and  Armourer's  Towers  is  Norman;*  the  wall  from  the 
Postern  to  the  Constable's  Towers  in  its  lower  part  is  Nor- 
man ;  and  the  greater  part  of  the  wall  between  the  Chan- 
cellor's and  Record  Towers  in  its  lower  part  is  also  Norman. 
Possibly  some  portions  may  be  the  work  of  Yvo  de  Vescy  in 
the  early  part  of  the  twelfth  century.  Of  this  period,  how- 
ever, the  most  interesting  remain  is  the  archway  of  the  donjon 
or  keep,  which  is  semicircular  and  ornamented  with  rich 
zigzag  mouldings,  characteristic  of  later  Norman  architecture; 
and  indicating  that  this  work  had  been  done  by  Eustace 
de  Vescy  about  the  year  1140 — Plate  V.yjig.  1.     Distinct 

*  The  Axmourer'B  and  Falconer*!  Towen,  together  with  the  Norman  wall 
connecting  thenii  were  polled  down  in  1860. 

Digitized  by 



Norman  work  in  the  walls  at  three  points^  distant  from  each 
other^  prove  that  the  old  Norman  castle  had  the  same  general 
outline  as  the  present  one.  In  the  ground  plan — Plate  IV., 
Jiff.  2.— of  the  castle  as  renovated  by  the  Percys,  those  por- 
tions which  are  of  the  Norman  period  are  marked  a. 

If  Alnwick  had  not  existed  in  the  Saxon  times^  the 
erection  of  this  huge  castle  would  have  caused  a  town  to 
spring  up.  Numerous  artisans  would  be  required  to  carry 
on  the  works;  houses  would  be  built  for  their  occupation; 
and  a  trading  community  located  to  supply  to  them  the 
necessaries  of  life;  while  again  the  cultivators  of  the  soil 
would  raise  their  humble  dwellings  under  the  protection  of 
the  stronghold.  Doubtless,  however,  the  collection  of  house- 
steads  forming  the  Saxon  vill  became  now  very  consider- 
ably-increased in  number,  and  raised  Alnwick  to  the  dignity 
of  a  town.  It  was  still  an  open  town  without  defences  of  its 
own;  we  know  it  was  burnt  down  by  the  heartless  King 
John ;  and  very  probably  it  suffered  many  calamities  which 
are  not  recorded,  during  the  fitful  warfare  along  the  borders. 
Of  one  trade,  we  obtain  a  glimpse  from  the  public  records, 
which  indicates  that  the  town  had  become  important;  in 
1181,  in  the  27th  of  Henry  II.,  Yvo  Cut  of  Alnwick  paid 
the  sheriff  of  the  county  half  a  mark  for  selling  wine  contrary 
to  the  assize ;  and  John,  son  of  Robert  de  Lahil,  was  guilty 
of  the  same  offence  and  paid  the  same  penalty.  Two  wine 
merchants  at  least  supplied  the  burgesses  of  this  early  period 
with  the  fruit  of  the  vine.*  We  learn  too  from  an  inquisition, 
that  there  was  in  1296  an  iron  foundry  or  forge  in  Alnwick 
held  by  Thomas  Bolt,  who  paid  for  it  to  Laurence  de  Sey- 
mour a  yearly  rent  of  twelvepence.f 

*  King  John  in  1199  enacted  that  no  Poiton  wine  be  sold  at  more  than  4d. 
and  no  white  wine  at  more  than  6d.  per  gallon,  and  that  inspectors  be  appointed 
in  every  city  and  borough  in  which  wine  was  sold.  Any  vinter  selling  contrary 
to  the  assize  was  arrested  by  the  sheriff  and  hb  goods  sold  on  behalf  of  the  king. 
The  merchants,  however,  could  not  bear  up  against  this  ordinance ;  and  leave  was 
given  to  sell  a  gallon  of  white  wine  at  8d.  and  red  wine  at  6d.  The  effect  of  this 
legislation  is  thus  quaintly  stated  by  Hovedon — **  and  so  the  land  was  filled  with 
drink  and  drinkers." 

t  Inquisition,  25  Edw.  I.  no.  13.    *'  Inquisito  facta  apud  Neuton  per  piaecep- 
tum  Domini  Regis,  coram  Johanne  de  Lythegraynes,  die  Mercurii  proximo  ante 
Dominic  am  Palmarum  anno  regni  Regis  E.  xxv.**     •••••••• 

**Item  Thomas  Bolt  tenuit  de  proefato  Lauren tio  [de  Sancto  Mauro]  unam  for- 
giam  in  Alnewyke,  et  reddit  pet  annum  zlj  denarios.  Item  operationes  cotariomm 
valent  per  annum  xijd." 

Digitized  by 



Of  the  houses  of  this  early  period  in  AlnWick  we  have 
no  remains  There  were  several  ecclesiastical  structures ;  a 
chapel  was  within  the  castle,  which  was  served  hy  a  resident 
chaplain,  who  in  the  year  1189, 1st  of  Richard  I.,  was  paid  by 
the  sheriff  of  the  county  thirty  shillings  and  fivepence  for  his 
fee.  Alnwick  Church  was  in  existence  in  1147,  for  in  that 
year  it  was  granted  to  Alnwick  Abbey  by  Eustace  Fitz-John. 
Basements  of  pillars  with  Norman  mouldings,  and  part  of  the 
chancel  arch  with  lozenge  ornaments,  belonging  to  this  ancient 
church,  have  been  recently  discovered.  The  two  great  abbeys 
of  Alnwick  and  Holn,  and  the  hospital  of  St.  Leonard's,  were 
all  founded  during  this  period,  chiefly  by  the  piety  and  muni- 
ficence of  the  De  Vescys. 

Alnwick  was  visited  four  times  by  King  John — on  the 
12th  of  February,  1201 ;  on  the  24th  of  April,  (Friday,) 
1209;  on  the  26th  of  January,  1213;  and  on  the  11th  of 
January,  1216  ;*  Henry  III.  was  at  Alnwick  on  the  23rd  of 
September,  1256 ;  Edward  I.,  on  his  way  from  Scotland  in 
1291,  was  at  Chatton  on  the  14th  and  15th  of  August,  and  at 
Alnwick  on  the  two  following  days,  when  he  issued  orders 
for  payment  to  be  made  to  the  custodiers  of  the  kingdom  of 
Scotland,  and  granted  a  protection  to  the  earl  of  Athol ;  he 
was  again  at  Chatton  on  the  13th  of  December,  1292,  and  at 
Alnwick  on  the  same  day,  where  he  issued  orders  for  pay- 
ment of  the  farm  of  the  mills  of  Selkirk,  Peebles,  and  at 
Traquair ;  and  on  the  16th  he  was  at  Tughalle.f 

To  shew  the  character  of  the  property  held  in  Alnwick 
and  in  the  barony,  and  the  names  of  the  principal  owners  at 
successive  periods,  I  shall  give  accounts,  more  or  less  com- 

Slete,  of  various  inquisitions  made  by  royal  authority  on  the 
eath  of  the  baron,  or  on  the  forfeiture  of  his  lands  by  treason. 
A  lury  in  such  cases,  under  the  direction  of  the  king's 
escheator,  investigated  what  lands  the  baron  possessed,  by 
what  tenures  held  and  their  value,  and  what  the  true 
value  of  the  knights'  fees  and  of  the  advowson  of  churches. 
After  the  death  of  John  de  Vescy,  two  of  these  inquisitions 
were  made  at  Alnwick  in  1289  by  Thomas  de  Normanville, 
the  king's  escheator  beyond  the  Trent,  before  the  following 
jurors,  most  of  whom  attended  both  inquisitions : — t 

•  Pat.  Rolls  Itin.  of  King  John.  f  Rot  Scot,  Vol.  I. 

t  As  these  hare  been  printed  in  Hartshorn's  Feudal  Castles,  I  do  not  giro  the 
etiginala.  I  hare  retained  the  original  spelling  of  the  names  of  persons  and 

Digitized  by 



^^Bobert  de  Gleintedone,  William  de  Elwicke,  Nicholas  de 
Haukhille,  Thomas  de  Bocke,  Huffh  de  Tynedelye,  Bobert  de 
Tridingtoney  John  Fitz-Payn,  John  de  la  Gbene,  Bobert  de  Falu- 
done,  William  de  Doxforde,  William  Bibaud,  Thomas  de  Hay- 
sande,  John  del  Claye,  Adam  de  Schipilbodille,  &c.  These 
jurors  being  sworn,  said  that  John  de  Yescj  died  seized*  of 
The  castle  of  Alnewicke  and  appurtenances,  viz. : 
129  acres  1  rood  of  land  m  demesne,*  worth 

yearly, 6  18    4t 

20  bondmen  in  Alnewicke  and  Denewicke,  each  of 
whom  holds  24  acres  of  land  on  bondage  tenure 
and  renders  yearly  2  mares, f-nram,  .        .    26  13    4 

Of  the  same  bondmen  for  the  inmrovement  of  their 

lands,  with  the  exchange  of  Gynfen,         .        .2150 

Of  7  ootmen  yearly, 0    9    0 

Of  the  &rm  of  a  certain  mower  of  Alnewicke  and 

Denewicke, 0    5    0 

Of  the  fjGums  of  free  tenants  in  Alnewicke  and  of  the 

burgesses  of  this  town,  with  three  water  mills,      61     0  12 
Of  the  rents  of  Hola,  to  wit,  of  arable  land,  mea- 
dows, and  pastures,  yearly,       .        .        .        .     11  19    6^ 
Of  Swynleys  with  appurtenances,  in  all,  .        .1119     1 

The  sum  of  this  panel  is  £122  0  3f . 
Of  the  Till  of  Houton,  'cum  quadam  frnssura  quae 
vocatnr  le  Merum,' pertaining  to  the  said  vill, 
to  wit,  demesne  landB,  bondagia,  cottagia,  mills, 
meadows  and  pastures,  and  rents,  yearly,  .  92  7  4^ 
Of  the  tOI  of  Lessebiry,  to  wit,  of  demesne  lands, 
bondagia,  cottagia,  mills,  meadows  and  pastures, 

and  rents,  yearly, 82  14    3 

Of  Alnemue,  to  wit,  of  the  rents  of  the  same  vill, 

and  of  toll  and  prisage,:^  aHA  rents,  yearly,       •    30    0    0 
Of  Swynhow  and  of  rents,  yearly,  in  all,  .        .968 

Sum  of  the  second  panel  £214  8  3^. 
Of  Ohatton,  to  wit,  of  the  demesne  lands,  farms  of 
free  tenants,  of  bondagia,  cottagia,  and  of  mills 

and  rents,  yearly, 68  16    1^ 

Of  Alneham  with  uiealings  of  this  vill,  and  of  a 
capital  messuage,  demesne  lands,  &iins  of  free 
tenants,  of  bondmen,  cotmen,  and  of  mills,  and 

of  rents,  yearly, 61     7    6 

OflandinthevillofWlloure,         .  .        .      4  17    4 

Sum  ofthe  third  panel  £125  0  IH. 

*  The  i7<Mfiliilafm  or  dememe,  that  part  of  a  manor  which  tha  lord  held  In  hia 
own  handf  and  which  waa  in  part  cultirated  hy  his  hondmen  and  cotmen. 
f  A  mare  wis  of  the  ralne  uf  thirteen  shilUnge  and  fourpence. 
Fringe^  the  ihare  belonging  to  the  king  oat  of  prizei  taken  at  lea. 

Digitized  by 



'Annual  rent  of  his  own  forest  of  Alnewicke,  and  of 

herbage,  pannage,*  and  agistment,  f         .         .     10     0     0 
Perquisites  of  the  courts  in  common  years,       .         .400 

Sum  of  this  last  panel  £14. 

Sum  of  the  whole  £475  9  6^. 

The  following  given  in  an  inquisition  made  on  the  7th  of 
May,  1289,  is  the  account  of  the  true  value  of  the  knights' 
fees  and  ecclesiastical  advowsons : — 

Gilbert  de  Umframvill  holds  of  Lord  John  de  Vescy  10  vills 
by  service  of  two  knights'  fees,  rendering  yearly  26s.  8d.,  and 
they  are  worth  yearly  300  marks,  and  are  assigned  to  Lady  Agnes 
de  Yescy  as  her  dower.  John  Comyn,  holding  lands  in  No^olk 
and  Suffolk  in  chief  of  the  lord  king,  holds  Neuham  of  Lord  de 
Vescy  by  service  of  half  a  knight's  fee,  and  renders  yearly 
66.  8d. ;  and  it  is  worth  £40  per  annum,  and  is  assigned  to 
Lady  Agnes  de  Vescy.  The  heirs  of  Momwicke,  tenants  in  chief 
of  the  king,  hold  Momwicke  and  Chyvingtone  by  service  of  one 
knight's  fee  and  a  half^  and  render  yearly  20s. ;  and  they  are 
wo^  yearly  £20,  and  are  assigned  to  Lady  A^es  de  Vescy. 
The  heirs  of  Folbiry  hold  Follebiry,  Heselrige,  Ccddmartone,  by 
one  knight's  fee,  and  render  Ids.  4d. ;  and  tiliey  are  worth  £40^ 
and  are  assigned  to  Lady  Agnes.  Thomas  de  Eocke  holds  Eocke 
by  half  a  knight's  fee,  and  renders  6s.  8d. ;  it  is  worth  £20  per 
annnni,  and  is  assigned  to  Lady  Agnes  de  Vescy.  The  heirs  of 
Bolbeke,  holding  of  the  king,  hold  Dodington  with  its  members, 
and  render  13s.  4d.  yearly ;  and  it  is  worth  100  marks  yearly. 
Balph  Eitz-£oger  holding  in  chief  of  the  king,  holds  Chareltone 
and  Edderstone  by  one  koight's  fee,  and  renders  yearly  13s.  4d. ; 
and  they  are  wor3i  yearly  £40.  Bobert  de  Hilton  holds  Schipil- 
bodille  with  its  members  by  s'ervice^of  two  knights'  fees,  and 
renders  26s.  8d.  yearly,  and  from  increment  of  a  tenement  of 
Hugh  Bibaud  in  Brokefield,  11^.;  and  they  are  worth  100  marks 
yearly.  The  heirs  of  William  de  Middletone  hold  Bumetone, 
Irrestone,  Scranwode,  by  service  of  one  knight's  fee  and  one 
quarter,  and  render  yearly  17s.  9^. ;  and  they  are  worth  £40. 
Bobert  de  Locre  holds  Locre,  Chareltone,  Faludone,  Hoping,  by 
one  knight's  fee,  and  renders  13s.  4d. ;  and  they  are  worth  £12 
per  annum.  Nicholas  de  HauckiUe  holds  Hauckille  by  one 
knight's  fee,  and  renders  13s.  4d.  yearly;  and  it  is  worth  £12 
yearly.  Hervens  de  Biltone  holds  Biltone  by  one  knight's  fee, 
and  renders  yearly  Ids.  4d. ;  and  it  is  worth  £13.  William 
Bibaud  and  Bobezt  Mantalaunt  hold  Howicke  by  one  knight's 

*  PannagUtmj  firom  paiaon  (French)|  pasture,  a  payment  for  the  right  of 
feeding  swine  in  the  lord's  forest 

f  Agiitamentumj  a  payment  for  the  feeding  or  depasturing  of  cattle. 


Digitized  by 



fee,  and  render  13s.  4d. ;  and  it  is  worUi  £20  yearly.  Peter 
Harrang  holds  Little  Houghtone  by  one  knight's  fee,  and  ren* 
ders  yearly  13s.  4d. ;  and  it  is  worth  £13  yearly.  Laurence  de 
Saint  Maurus  holds  Neutone  on  the  Sea  and  Yerdille  by  one 
knight's  fee,  and  renders  yearly  13s.  4d. ;  and  they  are  worth 
£40.  William  de  Ooleville  and  Philip  de  lay  Leye  hold  Bodel 
(and  Spinnelstan)  by  service  of  one  knight's  fee,  and  render 
138.  4d. ;  and  they  are  worth  yearly  £30.  Morice  de  Eworthe 
holds  Eworthe  by  service  of  a  quarter  of  a  knight's  fee,  and 
renders  yearly  4s.  5^. ;  and  it  is  worth  £20.  John  de  Cambou 
holds  Hortone  by  heJf  a  knight's  fee,  and  renders  68.  8d. ;  and  it 
is  worth  yearly  £10.  The  heirs  of  Hettone  hold  Hettone  by 
service  of  half  a  knight's  fee,  and  render  6s.  8d. ;  and  it  is  worth 
£12  yearly.  Hugo  de  (Strother?)  holds  Lyhum  by  one  quarter 
of  a  knight's  fee,  and  renders  yearly  4s.  5^d. ;  and  it  is  worth 
£12.  Bichard  de  Lyhum  holds  40  acres  of  land  in  the  same  by 
one  eighth  of  a  knight's  fee,  and  renders  yearly  9d. ;  and  they 
are  worth  40s.  yearly.  Philip  Fitz-Martin  holds  BerteweUe*  for 
an  eighth  of  a  knight's  fee,  and  renders  yearly  23d. ;  and  it  is 
worth  20s.  yearly.    Also,  (Henry  de  Swinho  ?)  holds  24  acres  of 

land  in  Sn^mho,  and  renders ;  and  they  are  worth  yearly 

24s.  Also,  the  jurors  said  on  their  oath,  that  John  de  Yescy  had 
no  advowson  of  any  chiirch  in  the  coxmty  of  Northumberland. 

These  inquisitions  and  the  Testa  de  Neville  shew  the 
great  extent  of  the  barony  possessed  by  the  family  of  De 
Vescy.  It  consisted  of  sixty  manors^  chiefly  lying  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Alnwick ;  but  though  held  directly  from 
the  king,  they  were  burdened  with  heavy  charges.  There 
was  no  militia  nor  standing  army ;  and  those  who  possessed 
the  land,  were  bound  to  defend  it  and  attend  the  king  when 
at  war ;  for  every  knight's  fee  of  which  they  held  possession, 
they  had  to  equip  and  maintain  during  war  a  man-at-arms  for 
forty  days.f  And  besides  obligations  of  fealty  and  service  to 
the  king,  they  were  subject  to  reliefs,  fines,  forfeiture,  aids, 
and  wardships.^:     No  inconsiderable  portion  of  the  barony 

*  Hobberlaw. 

f  According  to  Horedon,  in  A.D.  1181,  there  had  to  be  kept  for  e?eij knight's 
fee,  a  cuirass,  helmet,  shield,  and  lance ;  for  e?ery  free  layman  having  in  chattels 
or  rental  sixteen  marks  yearly,  a  hauberk,  an  iron  head  piece,  and  lance ;  and  for 
a  burgess,  an  iron  head  piece  and  lance ;  and  these  arms  were  neither  to  be  sold 
nor  pledged. 

t  Belief,  a  sum  of  money  paid  on  taking  possession  of  land ;  the  amount  at 
first  arbitrary,  but  fixed  by  Magna  Charta  at  about  one  fourth  of  its  yearly  value ; 
Jlne»,  paid  on  alienating  lands ;  forfcituret  for  treason  or  other  crime ;  aidi,  paid 

Digitized  by 



however,  had  been  granted  by  the  lord  to  mlUtary  vassals, 
who  rendered  for  their  lands  similar  services  to  the  baron, 
as  he  did  to  the  king.  In  the  reign  of  Edward  I.  there 
were  twenty-six  of  these  sub-feudatories  in  the  barony, 
who  held  lands  varying  in  extent  from  one  eighth  part  of 
a  knight's  fee  to  two  knights*  fees;  the  smallest  being 
Bertewell  (Hobberlaw),  and  the  largest  Shilbottle,  held 
by  the  heirs  of  WilUam  Tyson.  There  was  a  wide  dif- 
ference both  in  the  extent  and  value  of  these  several  knights* 
fees.  Forty  acres  at  Lyham  were  equivalent  to  one  eigh- 
teenth of  a  knight's  fee,  and  were  of  the  yearly  value  of  £2, 
so  that  according  to  this,  a  whole  knight's  fee  would  be 
seven  hundred  and  twenty  acres,  and  of  the  yearly  value 
of  £36;  Bertewell,  containing  two  hundred  acres  of  land, 
makes  a  knight's  fee  sixteen  hundred  acres,  and  only  £8 
yearly  in  value ;  Rock,  containing  two  thousand  acres  was 
half  a  knight's  fee,  and  valued  at  £20 ;  Bilton,  with  one 
thousand  three  hundred  and  forty-five  acres  was  a  whole 
knight's  fee,  and  valued  at  £13;  and  Hawkhill,  with  seven 
hundred  and  twenty-three  acres  was  also  a  whole  knight's 
fee,  and  valued  at  £13.  The  value  of  a  knight's  fee  at  Budle, 
Newton,  Brunton,  Fowberry,  and  Charlton,  was  £40 ;  in  two 
cases,  those  of  Newham  and  Eworth,  the  value  was  £80.  We 
find  that  it  was  not  beneath  the  dignity  of  a  baron  holding 
lands  in  capite  from  the  king,  to  become  the  subfeudatory  or 
vassal  of  another  baron;  John  Comyn,  a  tenant  in  chief  in  Nor- 
folk and  Suffolk,  was  subfeudatory  of  the  Vescys  for  Newham. 
As  the  king  retained  for  himself  numerous  manors  to 
support  his  dignity  and  power,  so  did  the  baron  of  Aln- 
wick retain  in  his  own  hands  demesne  lands,  chiefly 
around  his  baronial  residence;  and  he  also  parcelled  out 
lands  to  various  persons  of  low  degree,  on  tenures  not  clogged 
by  military  service.  In  Alnwick,  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
nine  acres  and  one  rood  constituted  the  demesne  land  of  the 
baron;  but  similar  lands  were  in  his  own  possession  at 
Houton,  Lesbury,  Chatton,  and  Alnham.  There  were  only 
two  military  tenures  in  the  parish  of  Alnwick,  one  at  Berte- 
well or  Hobberlaw,  and  the  other  at  Rugley ;  the  other  lands, 
not  in  the  lord's  own  hands,  were  either  on  free  socage,  on 
bondage,  or  on  theinage  and  drengage  tenures. 

for  yarions  objects,  such  as  on  the  marriage  of  the  king's  sons  and  daughters  and 
eTen  of  his  sisters,  or  for  the  king's  ransom ;  wardships  of  heirs,  a  source  of 
great  profit  to  the  king,  as  he  enjoyed  the  revenues  of  the  lands,  and  could  obtain 
advantage  firom  the  marriage  of  an  heir  or  heiress. 

Digitized  by 



We  obtain  no  glimpse  in  Alnwick  of  serfs — the  true  slaves  • 
of  the  period^  who  had  no  interest  in  the  land^  and  who  could 
be  sold  like  goods  and  chattels.  Twenty  bondmen  were  in 
Alnwick  and  Denwick,  and  there  were  several  in  all  the 
various  vills  held  by  the  baron.  Their  bondage^  however, 
even  at  the  earlier  Norman  period,  was  but  of  a  modified 
kind.  They  held  lands,  on  what  is  called  bondagium  or 
bondage  tenure,  sufficient  in  extent  to  maintain  them  and 
their  families ;  in  Alnwick  and  Denwick  each  had  twenty- 
four  acres  of  land.  Their  tenancy  was  subject  to  servUe 
conditions  ;  they  were  originally  bound  to  plough,  reap,  cart 
dung,  and  perform  other  agricultural  operations  on  the  lord's 
demesne  lands.  At  first  the  impositions  were  arbitrary, 
depending  on  the  will  of  the  lord  ;  but  in  course  of  time,  the 
amount  and  kind  of  labour  became  settled  and  defined ;  and 
ultimately  most  of  the  services  were  converted  into  a  money 
rent,  amounting  to  about  Is.  and  Is.  6d.  per  acre.  These 
bondmen  could  not  leave  the  barony ;  but  on  the  other  hand, 
the  lord  could  not  remove  them ;  they  were  in  fact  attached 
to  the  land,  and  had  a  claim  on  it  for  support.  At  the  end  of 
the  De  Vescy  period,  not  only  arbitrary  exactions,  but  forced 
labour  had  to  come  to  an  end.  Doubtless,  the  Alnwick  bond- 
men lived  in  Bondgate  Street,  to  which  they  gave  a  name  and 
the  field  of  Bondgate,  mentioned  in  an  early  charter,  would 
be  their  land.     From  this  class  sprung  our  copyholders. 

Besides  these,  there  was  a  better  class  of  proprietors 
descended  from  the  Saxons  and  surviving  the  conquest, 
holding  lands  on  free  socage — a  term  probably  derived  from 
SoCf  (Saxon,)  a  fianchise — with  full  power  to  dispose  of  their 
possessions.  They  were  subject  to  a  small  fixed  rent  pay- 
able to  the  lord  of  the  manor,  which  is  still  collected  yearly 
under  the  name  of  quit  rent,  from  burgage  houses  and  lands 
within  the  bardny.  "  The  farms  of  the  free  tenants  of  Aln- 
wick and  of  the  burgesses  of  the  town,  with  three  water 
mills,  amounted  yearly  to  £61  Is.  Od."  According  to  the 
Testa  de  Neville,  the  following  held  lands  in  free  socage 
tenure  in  "  Aunewyc  ;*'  Simon  de  Horseley  half  a  carucate,* 

•  A  caracate  or  a  plonghland,  was  as  much  land  as  could  be  ploughed  and 
worked  with  one  plough  in  a  year ;  it  varied  in  extent  According  to  Boldon 
Buke,  it  contained  at  Famacres  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres.  In  1198,  five 
shillings  were  levied  on  every  carucate  or  hide  of  land ;  Hoveden  says  that  the 
surveyors  set  down  one  hundred  acres  of  land  for  each  carucate  of  land  in  cultiva- 
tion.   See  also  note  p.  78. 

Digitized  by 



for  half  a  marc ;  German  de  Brockesfeld  one  carucate  and  a 
half,  for  half  a  marc ;  Simon  the  Hunter  half  a  carucate,  for 
half  a  marc ;  Stephen  Fitz-Robert  half  a  carucate ;  Walter 
de  Prendwick  eleven  acres,  for  the  third  part  of  one  pound  of 
cinnamon ;  the  abbot  of  Alnwick  the  Grange  of  Hecclive, 
(Heckley) ;  Robert  de  Chilton  held  half  a  carucate  in  Den- 
wye,  for  half  a  marc ;  and  William  the  Falconer  held  half  a 
carucate  in  Leterbir  (Lesbury),  for  one  sparrow  hawk. 

A  conveyance  of  one  of  the  messuages  in  Alnwick  of  the 
date  of  about  1290,  is  preserved  in  the  Durham  Library.  Of 
this  interesting  old  deed,  which  is  much  shorter  than  a 
modem  conveyance,  the  following  is  a  translation : — 

"  To  all  to  whom  the  present  writing  may  come,  Walter  de 
Owytill  greeting  in  the  Lord,  know  that  I  have  given,  granted, 
and  by  my  present  charter  have  confirmed  to  Thomas  de  Oharle- 
ton,  fuller,  that  messuage  with  appurtenances  in  Alnwick,  which 
I  formerly  bought  from  the  said  Thomas,  as  it  lies  in  the  Naru- 
gate,  between  the  land  of  William  Batman  on  both  parts,  to 
have  and  hold  to  the  same  Thomas  and  his  heirs  and  assigns  of 
the  chief  lord  of  the  fee,  as  freely,  quietly,  and  fully,  weU  and  in 
peace,  as  I  for  some  time  have  held  the  said  messuage,  so  that 
neither  I  nor  my  heirs,  nor  any  one  in  my  name  may  be  able  to 
establish  right  or  claim  for  ever  in  the  said  messuage  with  appur- 
tenances. In  testimony  of  which  thing,  I  have  put  to  the  present 
writing  my  seal,  these  being  witnesses,  the  lord  abbot  of  Alnewyk, 
William  of  Qt)Bewick,  Benedict,  constable  of  Alnewyk,  John  del 
Gxen,  William  Batman,  and  others." 

Of  another  old  tenure  drengage  and  theinage  we  have  also 
traces  in  Alnwick.  In  the  great  Pipe  Roll  for  1187,  34th  of 
Henry  III.,  the  sheriff,  under  the  head  "De  teinis  et  drengis" 
accounts  for  £23  IBs.  4d.  de  dono  of  Alnwick  and  other  lands 
of  William  de  Vescy ;  in  the  following  year,  £12  10s.  Od.  are 
said  to  be  due  for  the  same ;  and  in  1191,  under  "  Tallagium 
de  Drengis  et  Teinis,"  we  have — ^**  the  men  of  Alnwick  and 
other  lands  of  William  de  Vescy  in  Northumberland  owe 
£12  10s.  de  dono." .  This  tenure  was  confined  to  the  limits  of 
the  old  Saxon  kingdom  of  Northumberland;  teinage  and  dren- 
gage being  essentially  the  same  and  differing  only  in  degree, 
the  latter  term  being  applied  to  the  holding  of  one  property, 
and  the  former  to  the  holding  of  more  than  one ;  imder  it, 
the  person  was  free,  but  the  conditions  of  the  holding  were 
servile;  the  services  were  of  the  same  kind  as  those  of 
bondagium  though  less  in  amount,  and  not  necessarily  per- 
formed  by  the  drengh  or  one  of  his  family.    The  word  is  of 

Digitized  by 



Danish  origin,  from  dreogan,  to  do,  to  work ;  the  Norwegian 
cabin-boy  is  still  called  the  cahin-drengh  ;  and  we  owe  to  it 
the  English  term  drudge,  which  is  applied  to  one  who  per- 
forms the  meanest  kind  of  labour.  Yetlington,  Callaly,  and 
the  half  of  Whittingham  were  held  under  this  tenure.  Such 
lands  were  not  subject  to  military  service,  but  to  tallages 
(crown  revenue  paid  by  the  king's  own  demesnes  and  of 
boroughs  and  towns) ;  to  heriota  (payments  in  lieu  of  the 
best  chattel  on  the  death  of  the  tenant) ;  and  mercketa  (fines 
for  liberty  to  give  a  daughter  in  marriage). 

On  the  return  of  Edward  I.  from  the  Holy  Land,  he  found 
that  during  the  feeble  reign  of  his  father,  the  revenues  of  the 
crown  had  been  diminished  by  tenants  alienating  property 
without  license,  by  churchmen  as  well  as  laymen  usurping 
the  power  of  holding  courts,  of  exacting  fines  and  oppressing 
the  common  people,  and  claiming  rights  of  free  chase,  warren, 
fishing,  and  demanding  unreasonable  tolls.  He  appointed 
commissioners  to  inquire  into  these  abuses ;  and  their  returns 
called  Jtotuli  Hundredorunty  give  curious  information  as  to 
the  power  and  privileges  of  the  baron  of  Alnwick.  The 
Alnwick  inquiry  was  made  in  the  20th  of  Edward  I.  before 
the  justices  in  Eyre. 

William  de  Yesci  was  brought  forward  that  he  mi^ht  on  this 
day,  here  shew,  by  what  warrant  he  claimed  to  have  the  chattels 
of  felons  condemned  in  his  own  court  of  Alnewyk,  gallows* 
in  Alnewyk,  market  and  fair,  tumbrell,t  pillory,  toll,  correction 
of  the  assize  of  bread  and  ale  broken  in  Alnewyk,  Chatone,  and 
Alnemuthe,  free  chase  in  Alnewyk,  Alneham,  and  Chatone,  and 
free  warren  in  all  his  demesne  landis  in  the  viUs  aforesaid,  and  in 
Houton,  Lestebyrye,  and  Thurghale,  and  infangenthef  through 
the  whole  barony  of  Alnewyk,  which  belong  to  the  crown  and 
dignity  of  the  lord  the  king,  without  the  license  and  consent  of 
the  lord  king  himseK  and  his  progenitors,  &c. 

And  William,  by  his  attorney,  came  and  produced  a  certain 
charter  made  under  the  name  of  lord  Henry  king,  fetther  of  the 
present  lord  king,  to  a  certain  William  de  Vesd  father  of  William 
himself,  whose  heir  he  is,  by  which  the  same  lord  Henry  king 
grants  to  the  aforesaid  William  his  father,  that  he  and  his  heirs 
should  have  for  ever  one  market  at  his  own  manor  of  Chattone 
in  the  county  of  Northmnberland,  weekly  on  Wednesday,  and 
one  fair  yearly,  to  continue  for  eight  days,  to  wit,  on  the  vigil 

«  Furea  etfouCt  in  English,  pit  and  gallows,  the  power  of  putting  to  death 
convicted  thieves  ;  men  by  suspension,  and  women  by  drowning. 

f  TuwlbreUum,  a  cuclcing  stool  to  immerse  scolding  women  in  water. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


and  on  the  day  and  on  the  morrow  of  the  beheading  of  Saint 
John  the  Baptist^  and  for  five  days  following.  And  in  like  man- 
ner one  market  at  Alnemuthe  on  Tuesday,  and  one  fair  in  the 
same  place  for  eight  days,  to  wit,  on  the  vigil  and  on  the  day  and 
on  the  morrow  of  the  beheading  of  Saint  John  the  Baptist,  and 
for  five  days  following ;  and  so  he  claimed  the  liberties  in  the 
aforesaid  charter ;  and  the  other  hberties  contained  in  the  brief, 
he  claimed  from  antiquity.  And  he  said  that  he  and  all  his 
ancestors  from  time  immemorial  used  them  uninterruptedly,  ex- 
cepting in  about  two  hundred  acres  of  wood  and  moor  in  Chattone, 
which  were  within  the  forest,  but  afterwards  by  the  present  lord 
king  were  disafforested,  and  in  these  he  claimed  not  chase  and 

And  William  Inge,  who  followed  for  the  lord  the  king,  asked 
that  the  aforesaid  William  de  Vesci  should  say  by  whom  and 
when  he  was  authorised  to  take  possession  of  the  chattels  of  felons 
condemned  in  his  court  &c.  And  William  de  Yesci  said  that  he 
and  all  his  ancestors  from  time  immemorial,  always  were  wont 
to  take  possession  of  such  chattels  and  so  claimed  them.  And  in 
respect  to  the  claim  for  market  and  fair,  tumbrell,  pillory,  and 
toll,  William  de  Yesci  asks  that  inquiry  be  made  by  the  lord  the 
king  what  the  custom  has  been  &c.  And  in  respect  to  the  claim 
for  the  correction  of  the  assize  of  bread  and  ale  broken,  William 
de  Yesci  says  tJiat  he  punished  not  judicially,  but  by  amercia- 
ments.* And  this  he  was  prepared  to  prove  by  the  lord  king 
himseK  &c. 

The  jurors  said  upon  their  oath,  that  the  aforesaid  William 
and  all  his  ancestors,  from  the  date  of  the  aforesaid  charters,  had 
reasonably  used  the  markets,  fairs,  and  warrens,  &c.  And  as  to 
the  other  liberties,  they  say  that  William  and  all  his  ancestors 
frt>m  time  immemorial,  had  without  interruption  used  them  in 
the  manner  the  same  William  claims  them.  They  say  also,  that 
the  same  William  did  not  judge  any  felons  in  his  court,  except 
those  taken  in  his  own  fee,  for  felonies  committed  in  the  same 
fee  &c.  And  as  to  the  question  in  what  manner  he  punishes 
breaches  of  the  assize  of  bread  and  ale,  they  say  that  it  was 
always  by  amerciament  and  not  judicially.! 

The  master  of  the  Knights  Templars  in  England  exercised  simi- 
lar privileges  in  Alnwick,  and  he  was  summoned  before  the  same 
tribunal  to  shew  his  warrant  for  claiming  infangthief,  outgang- 
^ef :(  and  gallows  in  Alnwick,  Wooler,  and  oSier  places,  and 

*  An  amerciament  was  nroilai  to  a  fine,  a  pecuniary  punishment  for  an  offence; 
but  its  amount  was  moderated  bj  aflerators  or  jurors  sworn  for  this  purpose. 

t  Placit  de  Quo  Warranto,  p.  587. 
X  Infangthief,  power  of  a  lord  to  judge  a  thief  taken  within  his  own  manors. 
OuigangthUf^  power  of  a  lord  to  apprehend  on  oUier  manors  a  thief  who  had 
eommitted  iht  erime  on  the  lord's  own  manon 

Digitized  by 



for  himself  and  men  being  quit  in  those  Tills  of  fines,  amercia- 
ments,  tallage,  lestage,  stallage,  and  all  tolls,  and  passages  of  ways, 
bridges,  and  sea,  and  for  haying  waifes,  fugitives,  and  felons' 
goods,  and  assize  of  bread  and  beer  in  these  viUs.  He  claimed 
the  assize  of  bread  and  beer  from  antiquity,  and  the  other  liberties 
from  a  charter  37th  of  Henry  m.  confirmed  by  9<h  of  Edward  I, 
The  jury,  however,  found  that  since  these  charters,  the  Templars 
had  not  purchased  any  lands  in  these  towns,  and  were  not  seized 
of  waife  and  inganthief,  and  that  felons'  and  fugitives'  goods  had 
not  been  allowed  in  the  Exchequer ;  but  they  gave  verdict  that 
the  Templars  had  enjoyed  the  assize  of  ale  from  antiquity,  and 
the  other  liberties  from  the  date  of  the  charter.* 

Property  in  Alnwick  was  held  at  this  time  by  the  Knights 
Templars ;  but  after  the  dissolution  of  that  military  order  in 
1311,  this  property  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  knights  of 
St.  John  of  Jerusalem.  From  the  bounder  of  Alnwick  Moor, 
it  appears  to  have  been  to  the  west  of  the  town,  for  the 
bounder  begins  '*  at  the  head  of  Clayport  on  the  south  side 
at  the  west  nook  or  comer  of  the  dike,  being  late  the  lands, 
parcell  of  the  possessions  of  the  late  dissolved  house  of  St. 
John  of  Jerusalem."  Swansfield  is  described,  as  these  pos- 
sessions, in  one  of  the. court  rolls  for  1704.  The  prior  of  this 
order  claimed,  in  the  time  of  Edward  I.  the  same  privileges 
as  the  Templars  claimed  for  Alnwick,  in  a  number  of  towns 
in  Northumberland,  some  of  which,  as  Edlingham,  Abber- 
wick,  and  Bolton,  are  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of 
this  town.  A  chartei?*and  prescription  were  pleaded  for  these 
privileges,  most  of  which  were  allowed  by  the  jurors. f 

The  most  interesting  and  curious  relics  of  this  period  are 
the  three  charters  from  the  D^  Ycscys  to  the  burgesses  of 
Alnwick.  Of  these  I  shall  here  give  literal  translations. 
The  originals,  beautifully  written  on  parchment,  are  preserved 
among  the  muniments  of  the  corporation  of  Alnwick.  The 
earliest  was  granted  by  the  first  William  de  Yescy,  and  is 
without  a  date,  but  must  have  been  made  between  the  years 
1157  and  1185. 

''  Be  it  known  to  all  men  present  and  to  come  seeing  or  hear- 
ing this  charter,  that  I  WilUam  dQ  Yesci  have  granted  and  by 
this  mj  charter  have  confirmed  to  the  men,  my  burgesses  of 
Alnewic,  to  hold  of  me  and  of  my  heirs,  they  and  their  heirs,  as 
freely  and  quietly  as  the  burgesses  of  New-Castle  hold  of  the 
lord  the  king  of  England,  and  also  to  have  common  pasture  in 
hayden  and  in  the  moor  of  hayden.      These  being  witnesses, 

•  PUcita  de  Quo  Warranto,  p.  596.  f  Ibid,  p.  688. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


Fi^  1 



h»»tt*^  ^<g^«*  '-n£;i»V  %A%irt, 

jl^cy^^.fei'Qiogle"'!'  '•"■ 

Digitized  by 



Walter  de  bolebeo,  Eoger  de  Stuteville,  John  the  aherif^  Bainald 
de  Kynebel,  and  many  others." 

After  the  lapse  of  more  than  half  a  century,  the  second 
William  de  Vescy,  the  grandson  of  the  former,  confirmed 
this  grant,  but  gave  no  additional  privileges.  This  also  is 
without  a  date ;  but  it  must  have  been  made  between  the 
years  1226  and  1253 ;  for  at  the  former  date,  William  ob- 
tained livery  of  his  lands,  and  at  the  latter  date  he  died. 

*^  Let  those  present  and  to  oome  know  that  I  William  de  Yesd, 
son  and  heir  or  Lord  Eustace  de  Yesci,  have  granted  and  by  this 
my  present  charter  have  confirmed  to  my  burgesses  of  Alnewio 
all  the  liberties  and  free  customs,  to  be  held  and  had  of  me  and 
my  heirs  to  them  and  their  heirs,  quietly  and  peacefully  for  ever, 
which  the  lord  the  king  of  England  has  granted  to  his  burgesses 
of  Newcastle,  and  which  they  ^ely  use.  And  abo  the  common 
pasture  in  Haydene  and  in  the  moor  of  Haydene,  descending 
and  ascending  by  Goliergate,  as  fi^eely,  quieUy,  and  peacefully 
in  all  thin^  as  the  charter  of  Lord  WiUiam  de  Yesci  my  grand- 
father, which  they  have  from  him,  witnesseth.  Jxl  testimony  of 
this  thing  I  have  to  the  present  writing  put  my  seal.  These 
being  witnesses,  the  lord  H.  abbot  of  Ahiewic,  WiUiam  de  Yesci 
my  brother,  William  de  Fumival,  William  le  Latimer,  Boger 
Fitz-Balph,  William  de  Bosco,  Eudone  le  Latimer,  Simon  de 
Horseley,  and  others." 

In  Plats  IV,,  Jig.  1,  is  given  a  copy  of  this  charter  with 
the  De  Vescy  seal,  from  a  photograph  taken  for  me  by  Mr* 
George  Potter. 

The  third  charter  was  granted  by  the  third  William  de 
Vescy,  the  son  of  the  second  William,  on  the  Sunday  after 
Michaelmas  in  the  year  1290;  it  confirms  the  former  charters 
and  gives  additional  privileges. 

**  Let  those  present  and  to  come  know  that  we  WiUiam  de 
Vescy,  brother  and  heir  of  John  de  Vescy,  have  given  and 
granted,  and  by  our  present  charter  have  confirmed  to  our  bur- 
gesses of  Alnewyke  all  liberties  and  free  customs  in  aU  things,  as 
Sie  charter  of  WiUiam  de  Vescy  our  father,  which  they  have 
frt>m  him,  fuUy  testifies.  We  have  also  given  and  granted 
to  the  same  our  burgesses,  certain  pieces  of  land  in  the 
field  of  Bondegate,   whic^   are   caUed  Stottefaldhalch  *   and 

*  This  may  be  read  either  as  StoftefaWidlch  or  SecitefaWuUch,  for  the  t  and  e 
are  very  mnch  alike ;  the  former  reading  is  adopted,  as  more  probable,  because 
giving  a  better  meaning  to  the  compoond  word ;  which  comes  from  Stud,  (Dan- 
ish,) Stui,  (ancient  Swedish,)  an  ox  or  young  bull ;  faked,  fdld^  (Anglo-Saxon,) 
a  fold,  an  enclosure  for  sheep  or  cattle ;  hakh,  a  haugh,  a  northern  word  applied 
to  low  lying  lands  bordering  on  a  river ;  it  is  the  haugh  whereon  was  the  oxen 
fold ;  it  is  now  called  Hesleyside,  from  the  hazel  bushes  which  grew  there^ 


Digitized  by 



Baawellestrother  *  with  all  their  appurtenanoesi  with  the  common 
in  Hayden,  and  with  all  privileges  in  HajdenoKKMr  in  mardies, 
meadowi^  and  pastiiresy  petaries,  turbariesi  and  heaths,  and  with 
all  their  other  appurtenanoes,  libertLes,  and  privileges,  which  they 
were  wont  to  use  in  the  times  of  our  ancesfcors,  as  well  in  the 
forbidden  month  as  in  others.  And  be  it  known  that  in  the 
northern  part  of  the  way  from  Bonlton,  which  is  called  Botdton- 
strete,  even  unto  the  path  which  is  called  Coliergate,  cultivation 
flhaU  by  no  means  be  made  by  any  one  before  it  is  pre-arranged 
by  us  and  the  said  bureesses,  which  cultivation  within  the  afore- 
said bounds  ought  to  be  made  fbr  ovr  advantage,  and  tor  the 
advantage  of  tlu9  burgesses  themselves,  by  mutual  oonsent.  And 
the  whole  pasture  there  shall  remain  tar  us  and  the  burgessee 
tibiemselves  jointly  in  common.  In  testimony  of  tiiis  thing  we 
have  put  to  this  writing  our  seal.  And  to  another  writing, 
containing  a  counteipart  of  this,  remaining  with  us,  the  said 
burgesses  have  put  their  own  common  seal.  And  be  it  known 
that  the  same  bui^esses  and  their  heirs  for  the  liberty  they  are 
to  have  in  Hayden  in  the  forbidden  month  with  their  animals, 
shall  give  to  us  and  our  heirs  yearly  two  shillings,  one  half  at 
the  feast  of  Saint  Martin  and  the  other  half  at  Penteoost  lor 
ever.  The  witnesses  being,  brother  Alan  de  Staunibrd,  at  tiiat 
time  abbot  of  Alnewyke;  Sirs  Balph  Fitz-Boger,  Robert  de 
Hilton,  Alexander  his  son,  Walter  de  Oamhou,  at  that  time 
seneschal,  knights;  Nicholas  de  HauckiU,  Hervy  de  Bilton, 
Bobert  Harang,  Thomas  de  Eok,  John  de  Middelton,  William 
le  Messager,  and  others.  GKven  at  Catth(»rp,  on  the  Lord's  Day, 
next  before  the  feast  of  Saint  Michael,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord 
OB/d  thousand  two  hundred  and  ninety." 

At  the  time  of  the  last  grant,  1290,  the  burgesses  of 
Alnwick  were  a  corporate  body,  for  their  common  seal  was 
attached  to  the  counterpart  of  the  charter  retained  by  the 
lord.  The  fine  old  seal,  used  to  give  corporate  authority  to 
important  documents^  is,  I  believe,  the  same  as  that  which 
the  burgesses  attached  to  the  De  'Vescy  charter.  It  is  made 
of  brass,  and  the  figures  are  very  deeply  engraven.  St. 
Michael  the  guardian  saint  of  Alnwick  is  represented  killing 
the  dragon;  he  stands  in  a  stiff  attitude  with  his  wings 
extended;  in  his  right  hand  is  a  spear  with  which  he  is 
piercing  the  dragon  beneath  him ;  and  in  his  left  is  a  shield 
on  which  is  the  cross  patonce  belonging  to  the  De  Yescy 
arms.    This  proves  that  the  de»gn  had  been  formed  during 

•  EanveOeiirother,  •£  Anglo-Sftzoii  ozigin,  from  rem,  a  irild  goat  or  deer } 
weatt,  a  well ;  and  itrotheft  a  marsh ;  tlie  well  in  the  manh  or  bc^,  frequented 
by  wild  goata  or  deer ;  it  ia  ealled  the  bog,  and  fermi  ^art  of  Bog  Hill  Farm* 

Digitized  by 




the  De  Yescy  period ;  and  the  legend  around  the  seal^  '^  Ahi- 
wike  S:  Comnne  Burgi  de,**  The  common  seal  of  the  borough 
of  Alnemcke,  is  in  letters  of  a  form  used  during  the  thir- 
teenth or  fourteenth  centuries.  To  letters  patent  to  gather 
a  collection  for  building  the  town  wall  against  the  Scots, 
the  same  seal  was  appended  in  147S;  it  is  now  entirely 
broken,  but  in  1754  so  much  was  remaininff  of  the  figure 
and  legend,  as  to  prove,  that  it  was  identical  with  the  one 
now  in  use;  it  is  also  attached  to  a  petition  presented  to 
Lord  Burleigh  xespecting  the  Grammar  School  in  IdSS. 

na  II 


The  property  belonging  to  the  corporation  of  Alnwick  was, 
at  this  period,  extensive.  Besides  Stottefaldhalch  or  Hesley- 
side,  and  other  lands  eastward  of  the  town,  there  was  Hayden 
or  Alnwick  Moor,  which  contained  three  thousand  three 
hundred  and  twenty-nine  acres.  An  old  document,  preserved 
among  the  corporate  archives,  gives  the  boundary  of  this 
moor ;  it  is  entitled  "  A  Copy  of  the  Boundary  of  the  Forrest 
of  Hayden,**  which  seems  to  have  been  made  in  1647,  for  in 
that  year  one  shilling  and  fourpence  were  paid  "for  the  copy 
of  the  bounder  of  the  moor.'*  Reference  is  made  to  it  in 
1669,  when  the  four-and-twenty  of  the  borough  ordered 
^^  Cuthbert  Chessman,  John  Falder,  and  Matthew  Alnwicke, 
to  repair  to  counsell  to  advise  in  our  townes  interest  as  to  our 
moor  and  other  privileges,  and  that  the  towne  shall  bee  at 
the  charge  of  such  suit  as  shall  be  necessary  and  advised  for 
the  maintaining  our  bounder  according  to  a  court  of  survey 
that  is  in  the  towne's  box.'* 

Digitized  by 




'  OF  THB  Forrest  of 



Tlie  Burgesses  or  Buirowmen  of  the  Towne  of  Alnwicke  liave 
by  grante  of  one  of  the  lords  of  Alnwicke,  called  William  Lord 
Yessy,  Common  of  pasture  and  fireboot,  yiz: — mooreleave  of 
Turfe,  Peate,  and  hather  or  heath  in  a  large  wast  ground  called 
the  Forrest  of  Hayden,  lying  ni^h  and  aioyning  on  the  west  of 
the  said  borrow  and  towen  of  Alnwicke,  the  metes  and  bounders 
is  as  foUoweth,  viz. : — ^beginning  at  the  head  of  Olayporte  on  the 
soutii  side  at  the  west  nooke  or  comer  of  the  dike,  being  late  the 
lands,  parceU  of  the  possessions  of  the  late  dissolved  house  of  St. 
John's  of  Jerusalem,  and  from  thence  goeing  southward  along 
the  same  dike  which  goeth  about  Bobert  Greene's  land  untill 
you  com  to  the  waU  or  palle  of  Grenesfield,  now  parcell  of  Gaw- 
ledge  Parke,  and  soe  aLonge  the  said  pale  till  you  come  to  a 
kerne  of  stones  at  Cadmacrooke  gate,  and  soe  up  the  dike  west- 
wards to  Heberlaw  to  the  comer  of  the  house  theird  from  thence 
along  the  dike  to  Kugley  loning  end,  and  up  the  within  at  the 
foote  of  the  longing  end,  and  soe  &re  as  the  groimd  of  the  dike  of 
the  Hallgarth  of  Bugley  goeth,  and  then  oyer  at  the  stre  loneing 
end  to  the  south  dike  nook,  and  thence  along  the  said  dike  to 
St.  Margaret's,  from  thence  as  the  dike  and  wall  goeth  to  the 
goeing  down  to  Snepehouse  and  soe  downe  the  said  dike  untill 
you  come  to  mention  of  an  old  dike,  along  that  old  mention  to 
ane  old  house  sted,  from  thence  right  out  southward  to  a  well 
called  Hesley  Well,  as  the  old  mencion  of  a  dike  goeth  from 
thence  right  southward  to  Swinalee  foarde  in  the  boome,  from 
thence  southwest  by  the  forkings  of  the  boome  right  up  to  an 
ancient  kerne  of  stones  at  Bowten  Strete,  from  thence  right  up 
to  another  kerne  of  stones,  from  thence  to  another  kerne  of 
stones,   from  thence  north  west  to  a  great  round  hill,   from 
thence  by  kerne  and  kerne  to  the  south  side  of  a  hill  where  a 
great  thorn  tree  grew  between  two  great  cragges,  from  thence 
to  ike  top  of  the  hill,  and  soe  to  the  kerne  by  West  Bowten 
Streate,  and  soe  kerne  to  kerne  along  Bowten  Streat,  and  from 
kerne  to  kerne  eastward  along  the  edge  of  the  hill  and  as  the 
water  falleth  from  thence  northwards  to  a  kerne  on  the  east  side 
of  Oxen  Heughe,  and  from  thence  partly  northeast  to  one  kerne 
above  Lamden  foote  roode,  from  thence  right  on  to  a  great 
kerne  on  the  west  nooke  of  the  Twinlaw  hill,  from  thence  north- 
ward as  the  water  falleth  from  the  top  of  the  hilla  along  the 
Beedside  to  the  far  beacon,  from  thence  as  the  water  fuleth 
along  the  top  of  the  hiU  to  the  west  wicket  at  the  west  end  of  the 
parke,  and  from  thence  eaBtward  as  the  pale  and  wall  goeth  by 
north  of  Coliergate  to  Freeman  Gap,  and  soe  along  the  said 

Digitized  by 



parke  wall  to  the  cvrestparke  gate,  tram  thence  as  the  wall 
leadeth  to  the  QuarreU  Ejlk,  to  Wykes  Well,  and  from  th^use 
upon  the  west  side  of  the  said  hills  to  Stocken  dike,  and  soe 
along  the  said  dike  to  Oanogate  longing,  and  from  southwards 
to  the  head  of  the  said  dike,  and  from  thence  down  the  dike  to 
Hie  west  end  of  ratten  row  to  the  north  end  of  the  house  which 
standeth  southwest  and  northwest  in  ratten  row,  and  from  thence 
to  the  boome." 

Though  this  extensive  moor  was  granted  and  confirmed 
by  charters  from  the  De  Yescys,  it  by  no  means  follows,  that 
the  town  or  vill  of  Alnwick  had  not  possession  of  it  from 
Saxon  times.  We  have  seen  that  these  moors  were  the 
remains  of  the  Saxon  folc-lands — ^the  common  property  and 
inheritance  of  the  people.  Such  lands  for  long  after  the 
conquest  were  of  no  great  value ;  and  no  extraordinary  gen- 
erosity was  exercised,  when  after  being  ruthlessly  seized, 
they  were  granted  back  to  their  original  and  proper  owners. 
A  mere  handful  of  rude  soldiers  could  not  use  all  the  vast 
possessions  they  had  conquered ;  and  it  was  indeed  necessary, 
in  order  that  food  might  be  raised  for  themselves,  that  others 
should  be  permitted  to  cultivate  the  soil  and  send  their  cattle 
over  the  wild  moor-lands.  The  native  population,  continuing 
to  hold  lands  under  the  old  free  tenures,  were  almost  com- 
pelled to  vield  them  up,  to  secure  the  protection  of  these 
powerful  K^orman  barons ;  who,  however,  in  many  cases, 
re-granted  them  on  modified  conditions,  assimilating  more  or 
less  with  the  feudal  tenures.  For  the  same  object,  confirma- 
tion of  grants  was  sought  and  obtained  from  successive 

Alnwick,  possessed  of  a  common  seal  and  holding  common 
property,  had  become  during  the  De  Yescy  period  a  compact 
borough  town  with  several  distinct  streets.  In  one  of  the 
charters  there  is  mention  of  Bondffate,  and  in  the  deed 
already  quoted,  of  the  Narugate — which  are  the  Bond-Street 
and  the  Narrow-Street ;  for  gate  is  here  used  in  the  sense 
of  street,  from  the  Danish  gaet,  which  has  that  meaning ; 
and  it  is  still  so  applied  in  country  villages,  where  we  hear 
such  phrases  as  "  Aw  saw  him  in  the  toon  geyt."  Probably 
too,  the  trading  and  mechanical  community  were,  towards 
the  end  of  the  period,  associated  in  distinct  guilds  or  com- 
panies, for  the  regulation  and  protection  of  their  different  in- 
terests. We  find  wine  merchants,  a  fuller,  and  an  iron  founder 
in  the  town ;  and,  if  not  at  this  period,  at  least  not  long  after- 
wards, the  fixUers  or  walkers  occupied  the  Walkergate,  or  the 

Digitized  by 



Fullers  Street^  near  the  river.  Tradition  sajs  that  King  John 
gave  a  charter  to  Alnwick,  with  the  condition  that  every  new 
burgess  should  plunge  through  a  pool  in  Hayden  Forest,  in 
which  royalty  had  been  bogged  on  St.  Mark's  Day.  From 
time  immemorial  till  1853,  this  extraordinary  custom  was 
kept  up ;  and  its  traditionary  origin  is  strengthened  by  the 
record  of  his  progresses  northward,  which  states  that  he  rested 
at  Alnwick  on  the  24th  of  April  1209 ;  and  he  may  therefore, 
at  this  time,  have  been  hunting  in  the  forest  of  Hayden  and 
bogged  in  a  marsh.  It  is  possible  that  the  other  part  of  the 
tradition  may  also  be  founded  on  fact,  though  there  is  no 
such  charter  among  the  corporate  muuiments,  or  among 
the  public  records.  Some  slight  confirmation  is  given  to  the 
idea  of  the  town  having  been  at  one  time  a  royal  borough  by 
payment  of  tallage  in  1191 ;  for  such  taxes  were  imposed  on 
royal  lands  and  boroughs. 

We  have  seen  the  great  baron  living  in  rude  magnificence 
in  his  gloomy  castle,  attended  by  warlike  vassals ;  we  have  seen 
the  town  tenanted  by  persons  of  various  mechanical  or  trad- 
ing occupations,  and  the  different  grades  of  people,  living  in 
clusters  and  cultivating  the  soil,  scattered  over  the  district ; 
and  we  have  seen  too  rich  abbeys,  and  church  and  chapel,  for 
the  religious  instruction  of  the  district ;  but  with  all  this 
external  glare,  what  was  the  general  condition  of  the  people  ? 
A  weak  sentimentalism,  illumining  the  past  with  reflected 
lights  from  the  present,  fondly  imagines  that  these  were  the 

f;ood  old  times,  when  there  were  plenty  and  happiness  in  the 
and.  History  tells  a  sadder  tale.  The  baron  nursed  amid 
scenes  of  rapine  and  bloodshed,  was  generally  rude  and  un- 
educated, and  too  often  rapacious  and  cruel ;  and  his  armed 
vassals,  worse  than  himself,  were  the  tools  of  his  oppressions. 
The  soldier  alone  was  held  in  respect;  mechanical  arts, 
trade,  commerce,  and  law  too,  were  viewed  with  so  much 
contempt,  that  even  a  judge  was  denied  the  character  of  a 
gentlemen,  till  he  had  proved  his  descent  firom  a  soldier. 
Castles  which  now,  either  as  hoary  ruins  or  renovated 
palaces,  are  picturesque  objects  in  our  English  scenery,  were 
then  but  dens  of  robbers ;  they  were  raised,  not  for  national 
defence,  but  to  overcome  and  oppress  the  native  population. 
The  learned  Madox  says  "  The  castle  was  usually  the  head 
of  the  barony ;  it  was  the  honorary  part,  the  town  was  a 
plebeian  or  inferior  part.  The  castle  might  be  compared  to 
the  grand  hall  of  the  barony,  the  town  to  the  stare-^room. 
Constables,  knights,  and  sergeants,  which  were  in  castleB, 

Digitized  by 



did  nse  in  Conner  ages  to  exercise  ^eat  superiority  over  the 
towns  which  were  near  them,  and  hkewise  over  the  adjacent 
country.  No  wonder  men  who  were  covered  with  steel 
should  domineer  over  hiurgesses  and  peasants — ^the  armed 
over  the  unarmed/'*  The  reign  of  Stephen  was  the  great 
era  of  castle  building,  when  every  baron  sought  to  be  inde- 
pendent^ and  raised  Us  stronghold  and  maintained  his  band  of 
armed  men ;  before  Stephen's  death,  one  thousand  one  hundred 
and  fifteen  castles  had  been  built.  Whatever  may  have  been 
the  ultimate  effect  of  the  Norman  conquest  on  the  character 
and  progress  of  the  nation,  it  was  for  centuries  the  box  of 
Pandora  from  which  many  evils  were  let  loose  over  the 
country.  The  habits  of  warfare,  which  the  feudal  system 
fostered,  spread  abroad  misery  and  checked  the  progress  of 
improvement ;  and  Northumberland,  from  its  position  near 
the  border,  was  especially  unfortimate ;  for  besides  sharing 
in  those  evils,  it  was  exposed  to  the  wild  sweep  of  Scottish 
inroads.  The  picture  of  the  period  drawn  by  the  Saxon 
chronicler  is  dark  and  revolting. 

« They  had  done  homage  to  the  king,  and  sworn  oaths,  but 
they  no  faith  k^t.  AU  became  forsworn,  and  broke  their  aJlegi- 
ance,  for  every  nch  man  built  his  castle  and  defended  it  against 
him;  and  they  fiQed  the  land  full  of  castles.  They  greatly 
oppressed  the  wretdied  people  by  TnaVing  them  work  at  these 
castles,  and  when  the  casues  were  finished^  they  filled  them  with 
devils  and  evil  men.  There  they  took  those  whom  they  suspected 
to  have  any  goods  by  ni^ht  and  by  day,  and  they  put  them  in 
prison  for  their  gold  and  silver,  and  tortured  them  with  pains 
unspeakable,  for  never  were  any  mariyrs  tormented  as  these 
were.  They  hung  some  by  the  feet,  and  smoked  them  with  foul 
smoke ;  some  by  their  thiunbs  or  by  their  head ;  and  they  hung 
burning  things  on  their  feet.  They  put  a  knotted  stiin^  about 
their  heads,  and  twisted  it,  tUl  it  went  into  the  brain.  Tney  put 
them  into  dungeons,  wherein  were  adders  and  snakes  and  toads, 
and  thus  they  wore  them  out.  Some  they  put  into  a  crucet- 
house,  that  is,  into  a  chest  which  was  short  and  narrow,  and  not 
deep,  and  they  put  sharp  stones  into  it  and  crushed  the  men 
therein,  so  that  tney  broke  all  their  limbs.  There  were  hatefiil 
and  arim  thin^  called  Saohenteges  in  many  of  the  castles,  and 
whi(m  two  or  three  men  had  enough  to  do  to  cany.  The  Sachen- 
tege  was  made  thus : — ^it  was  fastened  to  a  beam  having  a  sharp 
iron  to  go  round  a  man's  throat  and  neck,  so  that  he  might  no 
ways  sit  nor  lie  nor  sleep,  but  he  must  bear  all  the  iron.  Many 
thousands  were  exhausted  with  himger. 

•  Madox  HU.  Ezchaq.,  p.  18. 

Digitized  by 




They  were  oonfitantly  levjing  an  exaction  from  the  towns, 
which  they  called  Tenserie,  (a  payment  to  the  superior  lord  for 
protection,)  and  when  the  miserable  inhabitants  had  no  more  to 
give,  then  plundered  they  and  burnt  aU  the  towns,  so  that  well 
mightest  thou  walk  a  whole  day's  journey  nor  ever  shouldest 
thou  find  a  man  seated  in  a  town  or  its  lands  tilled. 

Then  was  com  dear  and  flesh  and  cheese  and  butter,  for  there 
was  none  in  the  land — wretched  men  starved  with  hunger—some 
lived  on  alms,  who  had  been  erewhile  rich;  some  fled  the  country 
— never  was  there  more  misery,  and  never  acted  heathens  worse 
than  these.  At  length  they  spared  neither  church  nor  church- 
yard, but  they  took  all  that  was  valuable  therein,  and  they 
burned  the  church  and  all  together." 

Fia  12 

Baae  of  a  pillar  of  tbe  old  Norman  Church  at  ALiwicIl    See  page  87. 

Digitized  by 



EEOM  1295  TO  1309. 

AurwioK  BABomr  given  m  tbust  to  bek  fob  wiixiam  de  vescy 


William  de  Vescy  died  without  legitimate  issue ;  but  he 
left  one  natural  son,  a  minor ;  who,  from  having  been  bom 
in  Ireland,  was  usually  called  William  de  Vescy  of  Kildare. 
The  father  designed  that  this  son  should,  at  a  proper  time, 
inherit  all  his  honours  and  estates ;  and  in  his  own  lifetime, 
he  absolutely  settled  upon  him  and  his  heirs  the  manor  of 
Hoton  Bussell  in  Yorkshire,  in  which  was  included  the 
barony  of  Malton ;  and  appointed  Thomas  Flaiz  and  Geffi-ey 
Gyppesmere  as  his  guardians ;  but  with  respect  to  his  great 
Northumberland  estates,  "  he  did,"  says  Dugdale,  "  by  the 
king's  license  infeoff  that  great  prelate  Anthony  Beke,  bishop 
of  Durham  and  patriarch  of  Jerusalem,  in  the  castle  of  Aln- 
wicke  and  other  lands,  with  trust  and  special  confidence, 
that  he  should  retain  them  for  the  behoof  of  William  de 
Vesci  his  bastard  son  (begotten  in  Ireland,)  at  that  time 
young,  until  he  came  of  age.'**  The  unprincipled  bishop 
basely  violated  this  trust,  and  kept  possession  of  the  barony 
of  Alnwick  for  twelve  years;  and  irritated  by  some  slanderous 
words  which  he  had  heard,  that  William  de  Vescy  of  Kildare 
had  spoken  against  him,  he  sold  on  the  19th  of  November, 
1809,  the  castle  and  barony  of  Alnwick  to  Henry  de  Percy.f 
Bad  men  perpetrating  unjust  deeds,  like  the  wolf  when 

•  Dugdale'8  Baronage,  II.,  p.  95. 
t  Scala  Chronica,  Leland,  I.,  p.  539. 

Digitized  by 



seiadng  on  the  lamb^  have  always  some  excuse  for  their 

Bek  while  he  held  the  barony  was  seldom,  if  ever,  at  Aln- 
wick ;  and  there  is  little  in  the  public  records  to  connect  his 
name  with  our  history.  He,  however,  obtained  a  charter  in 
the  25th  of  Edward  I.  to  hold  a  market  and  £ur  at  Alnwick, 
to  have  a  free  warren  there  and  at  Alnham  and  Tughall.*  Of 
this  baron  of  Alnwick  therefore,  little  account  need  be  given* 
He  was  the  son  of  Walter  Bek,  baron  of  Eresby  in  Lincoln- 
shire. After  being  archdeacon,  he  was  enthroned  bishop  of 
Durham  on  Christmas  Eve,  1285.  More,  however,  a  soldier 
and  politician  than  an  ecclesiastic,  he  spent  most  of  his  life 
in  the  midst  of  courts  and  camps.  By  King  Edward  I.,  he 
was  employed  both  in  Scottish  and  French  transactions. 
B^presenting  royalty,  he  addressed  the  states  of  Scotland,  at 
Norham  in  1292 ;  and  according  to  Fordun,  Edward,  through 
his  advice,  pronounced  in  favour  of  BaUol's  claim  to  the 
Scottish  throne.  This  bishop  militant  led  the  second  line  of 
the  English  army  at  the  battle  of  Falkiik. 

His  grasping  ambition  brought  him  into  conflict  with  both 
the  pope  and  the  king;  his  temporalities  were  seized  by 
Edward  I. ;  but  he  obtained  restitution  of  his  estates  from 
Edward  II.,  with  the  additional  dignities  of  sovereign  of  the 
Isle  of  Man  and  titular  patriarch  of  Jerusalem.  More  tem- 
poral power  he  possessed  than  even  Wolsey ;  and  he  lived  in 
a  style  of  as  great  magnificence  as  that  great  cardinal.  His 
court  simulated  royalty ;  nobles  knelt  before  him  when  they 
preferred  petitions,  and  knights  waited  on  him  bareheaded 
and  standing.  Unscrupulous  and  ambitious  he  was ;  but 
his  liberality  was  profuse,  and  the  public  works,  which 
he  raised,  attest  his  munificence.  He  died  in  1S60,  leaving 
behind  him  immense  treasures.f 

William  de  Vescy  of  Kildare,  though  stript  of  his  North- 
umberland inheritance,  was  still,  on  account  of  his  other 
estates,  an  important  personage ;  he  was  summoned  to  par- 
liament among  the  barons  of  tibe  realm,  in  the  sixth,  seventh, 
and  eighth  years  of  the  reign  of  Edward  II.  In  1300,  he 
was  returned  from  the  county  of  Lincoln,  as  holding  lands 
and  rents  in  capitSy  or  otherwise,  to  the  amount  of  £40  and 
upwards;  and  as  such,  he  was  summoned  to  perform  military 

•  Cart  2, 25  Edw.  I^  m,  8. 

t  Fall  accounts  of  this  singular  prelate  aie  given  in  Hutchinion's  and  in 
Surtees'  Hiitories  of  Daibam. 

Digitized  by 



service  against  the  Scots.*  He  did  not,  however,  enjoy 
his  estates  long;  for  he  attended  his  sovereign  at  the  battle 
of  Bannockbum,  so  fatal  to  l&iglishmen,  and  was  slain 
there  in  the  year  1314.  Leaving  no  issue,  Malton  and  his 
other  manors  in  Yorkshire  passed  to  Gilbert  Aton,  who  was 
Ae  nearest  heir,  not  only  «f  WilUam  de  Yescy  of  Eildare, 
but  also  of  William,  the  last  De  Vescy,  baron  of  Alnwick. 
Such  was  the  verdict  of  juries  at  an  inquisition  held  at  York 
on  the  Sod  of  June  in  8th  of  Edward  II.,  and  at  another 
held  at  Lincoln.  Gilbert  Aton  was  descended  from  Warin, 
the  brother  of  Eustace  de  Yescy.  Margaret,  the  only  daugh* 
ter  and  heiress  of  Warin,  had  married  Gilbert  de  Aton  of 
Aton  in  Pickering,  from  whom  descended  William  Aton, 
who  had  two  sons  Gilbert  and  William;  the  former  died 
without  issue,  and  the  latter  succeeded  to  the  estates  and 
had  a  son  Gilbert  de  Aton,  who  was  thus  the  heir  of  the  De 
Yescys ;  he  was  twenty-six  years  of  age  when  the  inquisition 
was  made.  S«r  William  de  Aten  appears  in  1376  as  a 
witness  to  one  of  the  Alnwick  Abbey  charters,  and  in  the 
same  year,  along  with  Lord  Henry  de  Percy  and  many  other 
knights,  he  dined  in  the  refectory  of  Alnwick  Abbey,  when 
the  abbot,  Walter  de  Heppescotes,  gave  a  grand  entertain- 
ment to  the  nobles  and  commonalty  of  the  country.f  The 
Atons  assumed  the  name  and  arms  of  De  Yescy,  and  one 
of  them  afterwards  intermarried  with  a  Percy.  For  many 
generations  they  enjoyed  their  Yorkshire  inheritance;  but 
ultimately,  Malton  by  purchase  came  into  the  possession  of 
the  frimily  of  Fitz-WilKam. 

The  transferenoe  of  the  barony  of  Alnwick  from  the  De 
Yescys  to  the  Percys  presents  but  an  unpleasant  picture,  and 
to  lighten  its  darker  colouring,  doubts;  by  some  modem 
writers,  have  been  thrown  on  some  of  the  facts.  The  deed 
by  which  William  de  Yescy  infeoffed  Bek,  seems  now  not  to 
be  in  existence.  The  facts  of  the  case,  however,  appear  in  the 
Se&la  Ckr&nieaf  which  is  pretty  nearly  a  cotemporary  record ; 
and  the  statements  are  repeated  in  subsequent  inquisitions  as 
unquestioned  truths.  The  deed  of  conveyance  by  Bek  and  a 
confirmation  of  the  same  by  Edward  11.  are  printed  in  Rymer's 
Foedera.  The  bishop,  by  charter  made  at  Kenyton  on  the  19th 
of  November,  1S09,  grants  to  Henry  de  Percy,  the  barony, 
castle,  manor,  and  vill  of  Alnwick,  with  vills,  hamlets,  mem* 
bers,  advowsons  of  churches,  abbeys,  priories,  hospitals,  and 

•  Alphabetical  Digest^  p.  887.  f  Chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


eluipels^  together  with  millB,  meadows^  woods,  lorddups, 
demesue  lands,  yillenages,  yUlans  with  their  fiEumlies  and 
chattels,  knights'  fees,  homages,  rents,  services  of  free  men, 
wards,  reliefs,  escheats,  hundreds,  wapentakes,  and  courts ; 
together  with  fairs,  markets,  warrens,  chases,  wreck  of  sea; 
and  in  addition,  all  lands  and  tenements,  which  Isabella,  the 
wife  of  John  de  Vescy,  and  Isabella,  wife  of  William  de 
Yescy,  held  in  dower  of  the  said  barony,  and  which  were  on 
their  deaths  to  revert  to  Henry  de  Percy.  King  Edward  II. 
at  Shene,  on  the  SSrd  of  January,  1310,  confirmed  by  charter 
this  conveyance. 

After  the  death  of  Isabella,  wife  of  William  de  Vescy,  two 
inquisitions  were  held  in  8th  of  Edward  II. ;  the  first  found 
that  she  died  seized  of  estates,  which  she  held  in  dower,  of  the 
inheritance  of  Gilbert  de  Aton,  next  heir  to  William  de  Vescy ; 
but  the  next  inquisition  found  that  she  held  in  dower  in  the 
county  when  she  died,  the  manor  of  Tughall  and  Swynhou 
and  the  vill  of  Alnwick,  with  the  mill  of  North  Charlton,  of 
the  heirship  of  Henry,  son  of  Henry  de  Percy,  who  is  under 
age  and  in  custody  of  the  king,  and  that  these  lands  and 
tenements  were  of  the  value  of  £120  yearly,  and  held  in 
capite  by  service  of  one  knight's  fee ;  the  jurors  also  said  that 
John,  son  of  Amald  de  Percy,  was  the  nearer  and  legitimate 
heir  of  William  de  Vescy.*  In  1323,  Henry  de  Percy  paid 
a  fine  of  one  hundred  marks  that  he  might,  after  Isabella's 
death,  enter  on  the  fees  she  had  in  Catton,  Wooler,  and 
other  places.f 

Strange  it  may  seem  to  us,  that  this  disposal  of  a  great 
barony  should  have  been  permitted ;  but  we  must  remember, 
that  law  as  yet,  held  no  supreme  dominion  over  great  men, 
especially  when  the  throne  was  weak.  '*  Norman  govern- 
ment," says  the  philosophical  historian  Hallam,  '^  rather 
resembled  a  scramble  of  wild  beasts,  where  the  strongest 
takes  the  best  share,  than  a  system  founded  upon  principles 
of  common  utility.":^  Edward  II.  was  a  feeble  monarch,  and 
he  had  been  humbled  by  his  defeat  at  Bannockbum ;  while 
on  the  other  hand,  Bek  had  almost  princely  power  within 
his  palatinate,  and  Percy  was  one  of  the  greatest  of  northern 
barons.  Probably  enough,  Edward  would  be  glad  of  their 
support  on  any  terms ;  possessed  of  such  power,  and  with  but 
lax  notions  of  justice  and  honour,  these  northern  magnates 

•  Inq.  8  Edw.  II.,  n.  68.  f  Originalia,  17  Edw.  II. 

X  Hallun's  Middle  Ages,  III.,  p.  219. 

Digitized  by 



would^  if  their  proceedings  were  questioned  even  by  royal 
authority,  more  readily  appeal,  like  the  earl  of  Warenne,  to 
their  swords  as  evidence  of  their  rights,  than  to  the  principles 
of  reason  and  justice.  There  must,  however,  notwithstand* 
ing  the  bishop's  conveyance  and  the  king's  confirmation, 
have  been  a  consciousness  of  wrong  committed,  and  of  a 
defect  in  the  title  to  the  barony;  for  in  IS^,  the  son  of 
Henry  de  Percy  obtained  a  release  from  Sir  William  Aton, 
the  heir  of  the  De  Yescys,  of  his  rights  to  the  barony  of 
Alnwick  on  payment  to  him  of  seven  hundred  marks  sterlmg. 

Digitized  by 



1309  TO  1368. 


Perot's  will— -HENBYy  third  baron  psroy  of  alhwick— - 


A  new  dynasty  in  1S09  began  to  reign  over  Alnwick;  and 
naturally  we  inquire--*who  were  the  new  lords  and  whence 
came  they  ?  Properly  speaking  these  lords  were  Lovaines ; 
but  descending  through  a  female  from  a  Percy^  they  had 
assumed  that  name.  The  early  history  of  Percy  has  shared 
the  £Eite  of  other  families  which  have  risen  to  distinetion ; 
and  it  has  been  encumbered  with  marvels  and  myths.  Both 
ancient  and  illustrious  is  the  descent ;  and  it  needs  not  to  be 
exaggerated  by  the  false  glitter  derived  from  the  fictions  of 
the  poet^  the  legends  of  the  monk^  or  the  fanciful  blazonry 
of  the  herald.* 

Little  is  known  of  the  house  oi  Percy  prior  to  the  conquest; 
yet  Peeris^  a  kind  of  poet  laureate  to  the  fifth  Earl  Percy, 
gives  a  romantic  and  high  sounding  history  before  that 
period,  in  a  metrical  chronicle  written  by  him  for  the  earl  in 
the  sixteenth  century.     He  says  or  sings,  that  the  fiunily  is 

•  Hartihom  takes  a  difibrent  Tiew :  ^  Little  short*'  says  he,  "of  the  inspir- 
ation of  the  poet  can  set  (its  history)  forth  in  langoai^  it  desenres."  I  prefer  the 
Tiews  of  D'Israeli — "  it  is  not  requisite  for  poets  to  be  historians,  but  historians 
ahonld  not  be  so  frequently  poets.** 

Digitized  by 



descended  from  Mainfr^d  de  Percy^  who  went  from  Denmark 
to  Normandy  prior  to  Rollo's  conquest  of  it;  and  that  his  son 
Geffrey  joined  RoUo  in  his  expedition  of  911.  William^  a 
son  of  Geffirey,  was  made  earl  of  Caux  and  governor  of 
Normandy,  and  was  slain  by  Hugh  Capet,  king  of  France. 
Gre£Erey,  his  son,  succeeded  him ;  and  in  the  next  generation, 
the  honours  of  the  family  were  increased ;  for  William,  the 
son  of  Geffirey,  was  created  earl  of  Poictiers.  Gefl&rey  suc- 
jceedei  him,  and  had  issue  two  sons,  William  and  Serlo  de 
Percy,  who  came  with  William  the  Conqueror  into  England. 
All  this  is  very  magnificent ;  but  it  is  entirely  a  romance, 
concocted  by  imaginative  heraldists,  and  unsupported  by 
evidence.  We  know  little  more  than  this,  that  William 
de  Percy — ^who  was  probably  a  younger  son — came  from 
Percy,  a  Seigneurie  of  the  Paynells  in  Normandy,  into 
England  along  with  the  duke  of  Normandy  in  1066.  For 
his  services  in  the  field  and  his  devotion  to  the  conqueror, 
he  was  richly  rewarded ;  as  in  Doomsday  Book  we  find  that 
besides  manors  in  Hampshire,  he  received  from  the  king  no 
less  than  thirty-two  lordships  in  Lincolnshire  and  eighty- 
six  in  Yorkshire;  from  Hugh  Lupins,  earl  of  Chester,  he 
obtained  the  lordship  of  Whitby.  His  baronial  possessions 
amounted  to  thirty  knights'  fees ;  and  the  chief  seats  of  the 
family  were  Topcuff  and  Spofford  in  Yorkshire. 

He  was  distinguished  by  the  cognomen  Le  Oemons,  As- 
gemonSy  one  Algernon^  meaning  the  whiskers.  An  abbey  of 
Benedictine  monks  at  Whitby  was  founded  by  him  on  the 
site  of  the  ancient  monastery  of  Strenshale,  which  had  been 
destroyed  by  Inguar  and  Hubba  the  Danes.  While  in  the 
Holy  Land  fighting  for  the  cross,  he  died  in  1086  at  Mount- 
joy  near  Jerusalem,  where  he  was  honourably  interred ;  but 
according  to  Peeris : — 

'*  The  said  Percy's  heart  was  brought  to  England, 
According  to  his  request ; 
Por  in  the  abbey  of  his  foundation  at  Whidiy, 
He  had  willed  it  to  rest.** 

The  pretty  fancy  of  Bishop  Percy  as  to  the  origin  of  the 
crescent,  one  of  the  Percy's  badges,  is  not  accordant  with 
known  heraldic  facts.  Of  this  first  William  Percy,  the 
bishop  in  his  ballad  of  the  hermit  of  Warkworth,  says  : — 

"  Then  jonmeying  to  the  Holy  Land, 
There  bravely  fi>nght  and  died  i 
But  first  the  silyer  crescent  wan. 
Some  Paynim  soldan's  piid^.** 

Digitized  by 


112  HI8T0BY   OF    ALNWICK. 

The  crescent^  however,  does  not  appear  among  the  early 
Percy  badges ;  it  is  first  seen  decking  the  pennon  of  the  first 
Earl  Percy's  seal  in  1400 ;  and  probably,  as  Mr.  Longstaffe 
suggests,  it  had  reference  to  the  earldom  of  Northumberland. 
The  old  Percy  arms  ard  given  in  the  Harleian  Manuscript, 
69i— "Field  azure  Jive  mUpyke^  &r.*'  This  heraldic  device 
fi>rmerly  considered  mill-picks,  to  pick  or  pierce  with,  ^^a 
mere  pun  perhaps  on  Percy  or  Pichot,"  are  now  regarded  as 
fusils  or  spindels.** 

William  de  Percy  is  said  to  have  married  Emma  de  Port, 
whose  lands  he  had  seisEed-'-^^' which  Emma  was  lady  of  Semer 
besides  of  Scarburg  afore  the  conquest  and  of  other  landes, 
William  gave  Syr  William  Percy  for  hys  good  service;  and 
he  wedded  hyr  that  was  very  heire  to  them,  in  discharging 
his  conscience,  "t  By  her  he  had  issue  three  sons,  ilian, 
Geoffirey,  and  Richard. 

Of  Alan  de  Percy  his  eldest  son  who  succeeded,  little  is 
known ;  his  name  occurs  as  one  of  the  witnesses  to  a  charter 
granted  by  Henry  I.  to  Bardney  Abbey,  and  he  confirmed 
the  gifts  of  his  father  to  Whitby  Abbey  and  added  other 
donations.  He  married  Emma  Gaunt,  grand-daughter  of 
the  earl  of  Flanders,  by  whom  he  had  five  sons.  He  had 
also  an  illegitimate  son  Alan,  who  fought  on  the  side  of  the 
Scots  at  the  battle  of  the  Standard ;  and  adhering  to  David, 
the  king  of  Scotland,  obtained  from  King  David  grants  of 
the  honours  of  Oxenham  and  Heton  in  Teviotdale,  where 
the  family  flourished  for  two  generations  and  then  died  out. 
The  pedigree  at  this  point  is  obscure.  According  to  the 
Harleian  MSS.,  8648,  69S,  &c.,  Alan  was  succeeded  by  his 
son  William,  who  was  married  to  Alice,  daughter  of  Everard 
de  Boos ;  and  William  was  succeeded  by  Richard,  who  had 
for  wife  Jane,  daughter  of  William  Brewers ;  from  Richard 
and  Jane  descended  the  last  of  the  Percys,  William,  who 
married  Adelides  de  Tunbridge,  by  whom  he  had  six  children, 
all  of  whom  died  before  him,  excepting  A^es  the  youngest. 
He  founded  the  abbey  of  Hampole  for  Cistercian  monks  in 
1133,  and  Salley  Abbey  in  1147.  He  fought  on  the  side  of 
King  Stephen  in  the  battle  of  the  Standard ;  and  died  about 

*  Longstafie's  Old  Henldiy  of  the  Percys,  p.  164— one  of  the  ablest  of  her- 
aldic diaiertationi,  narked  not  only  by  learning  and  acateness,  bat  by  a  manly 
independent  tone.  My  heraldio  DoCioet  are  chiefly  guided  by  this  yaluable  con- 
tribution to  Northumbrian  history. 

t  Harleian  MSS^  No.  692. 

Digitized  by 



the  year  1166.  Thus,  one  hundred  years  after  the  family 
had  settled  in  England,  the  male  line  of  the  Percys  became 
extinct,  and  their  vast  possessions  descended  to  a  female. 

Agnes,  the  great  Percy  heiress,  in  about  two  years  after 
her  father's  death,  married  Joceline  de  Lovaine.  Connected 
with  this  union,  there  is  another  pretty  fiction ;  before  her 
nuptials  she  is  said  to  have  covenanted  with  Lovaine,  that 
he  should  either  bear  the  Percy  arms  and  omit  his  own,  or 
keep  his  own  arms  and  take  the  surname  of  Percy  to  himself 
and  his  posterity  for  ever.  The  following  lines,  under  her 
picture  in  the  pedigree  at  Sioa  House,  record  his  decision : — 

"  Lord  Percy's  heir  I  was,  whose  noble  name 
By  me  sarviTes  unto  his  lasting  fame, 
Brabant's  duke's  sou  I  wed,  who  for  my  sake 
Retain'd  his  arms  and  Percy's  name  did  take." 

Joceline  Lovaine,  however,  did  not  take  for  himself  the  name 
of  Percy ;  nor  did  the  Brabant  blue  lion  appear  in  the  Percy 
arms  till  the  time  of  Edward  I.* 

Lovaine  had  a  distinguished  ancestry ;  he  claimed  to  be 
descended  from  Charlemagne ;  and  was  second  son  of  God- 
frey with  the  beard,  duke  of  Brabant  and  count  of  Lovaine, 
and  half  brother  to  Adelicia,  the  second  wife  of  Henry  I., 
king  of  England.  Before  his  marriage,  he  was  styled  the 
brother  of  the  queen  and  castellan  of  Arundel.  The  queen, 
on  whom  had  been  settled  the  county  of  Sussex  as  her  dower, 
gave  to  him  the  barony  of  Petwortu — ^no  insignificant  gift, 
for  it  was  estimated  at  twenty-two  knights'  fees ;  and  this 
gift  was  confirmed  by  Henry  XL,  in  the  year  1168.  Joceline 
died  some  little  time  before  1191,  and  was  interred  at  Pet- 
worth.  His  wife  Agnes  died  in  1195 ;  and  of  her  the  Percy 
laureate  thus  sings : — "  Lady  Agnes  among  her  elders  lieth 
at  Whitby.  Upon  the  marble  stone  of  her  tomb  in  the  said 
Whitby,  under  which  buried  was  the  body  of  this  lady,  two 
verses  in  Latin  be,  which  I  shall  English  as  I  can  or  I  tarther 
pass  : — '  In  the  feast  of  Saint  Agnes,  Agnes  Percy  lieth  here 
engraved:  and  they  both  agree  in  kind,  name,  and  life.' 
Tlus  is  a  great  commendation,  and  a  token  that  this  lady 
was  of  virtuous  life  and  conversation." 

Henry,  his  eldest  son,  took  his  mother's  name  of  Percy ; 
but  he  succeeded  to  part  only  of  the  estates  held  by  his 
fietther.    In  6th  of  John,  he  had  livery,  on  the  death  of  his 

*  Longfitaffe's  Percy  Heraldry,  p.  162. 

Digitized  by 



mother,  of  all  the  lands  of  which  she  was  seized ;  and  in  the 
13th  of  John,  he  paid  scutage  on  fifteen  knights'  fees,  which, 
however,  did  not  amount  to  half  of  what  his  father  died 
possessed.  A  great  part  of  the  estates,  including  the  manor 
of  Whithy,  bad  passed  to  Richard,  the  third  son  of  Joceline 
Lovaine,  who  was  a  man  of  energy,  and  more  highly  dis- 
tinguished in  public  affairs  than  bis  elder  brother ;  as,  how* 
ever,  his  issue  became  extinct  in  the  second  generation,  his 
estates  reverted  to  the  direct  line  of  the  Percy  family.  Henry 
Percy  married  Isabella,  daughter  of  Adam  de  Brus,  and 
with  her  obtained  the  manor  of  Lekinfield  near  Beverley  in 
Yorkshire,  which  for  a  long  period  was  one  of  the  most 
important  of  the  Percy  residences ;  it  was  held  by  a  peculiar 
tenure — he  and  his  heirs  were  to  repair  to  Skelton  Castle 
every  Christmas  Day,  and  lead  the  lady  of  the  castle  from 
her  chamber  to  the  chapel  to  mass,  and  thence  to  her  chamber 
again ;  and  after  dining  with  her  to  depart.* 

William  de  Percy,  son  of  Henry,  succeeded,  on  the  death 
of  his  father  and  of  his  grandmother  Agnes,  to  a  great  part  of 
their  possessions;  the  extent  of  these  is  shewn  by  the  scutage 
paid  in  1222,  when  he  was  by  special  writ  acquitted  for  fifteen 
knights'  fees  in  Yorkshire  and  twenty-ei^ht  in  the  honour 
of  Petworth ;  and  these  possessions  were  increased  in  1244, 
when  he  had  livery  of  the  lands  of  his  uncle  Richard.  He 
was  married  first  to  Helena,  daughter  of  Lord  Bardolph,  by 
whom  came  the  lordship  of  Dalton;  and  next,  to  Joan, 
daughter  of  William  de  Brewer.  He  had  issue,  seven  sons 
and  four  daughters,  and  died  in  1245,  and  was  buried  at 

He  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son  Henry,  who  in  SSrd 
x>f  Henry  III.,  paid  a  fine  of  nine  hundred  pounds  for  livery 
of  his  lands,  and  that  he  might  marry  whom  he  pleased. 
He  wat*  busily  engaged  in  the  stirring  events  of  this  period. 
He  took  part  in  the  wars  in  Wales  and  Scotland ;  he  sup- 
ported King  Henry  III.  against  the  barons ;  and  fighting 
stoutly  for  his  sovereign  in  1264  at  the  battle  of  Lewes, 
he  had  the  misfortune  to  be  taken  prisoner ;  he,  however, 
soon  regained  his  liberty.  He  died  in  1272,  and  was 
interred  at  Salley  near  his  father — ^the  last  Percy  who  was 
buried  there.  By  his  wife  Eleanor  he  had  three  sons ;  but, 
William  and  John  dying  without  issue,  his  great  inheritance 
devolved  on  Henry,  the  youngest,  as  heir  to  his  brother 

•  CoUinc,  y.,  p.  S21. 

Digitized  by 



John;    and  this  Henry  first  links  the  history  of  Alnwick 
wi&  the  Percys.* 


Before  obtaining  the  barony  of  Alnwick,  Henry  de  Percy 
was  lord  of  Topcliffe  and  Spoford,  and  possessed  estates  of 
enormous  extent  in  Yorkshire,  Sussex,  and  Lincolnshire;  but 
when  Alnwick  barony  was  united  to  these,  he  stood  in  the 
ftremost  rank  of  territorial  barons.  He  was  a  minor  at  the 
time  of  his  father's  death;  and  he  obtained  livery  of  his 
lands  in  1294,  when  he  came  of  age,  so  that  he  must  have 
been  bom  about  the  year  1273.  Soon  after  his  majority  he 
accompanied  the  king,  '^  well  fitted  with  horse  and  arms,"  in 
his  wars  in  Gascony.  In  1296  he  was  publicly  honoured 
with  knighthood  by  King  Edward  I.,  in  presence  of  his 
army  which  was  drawn  up  in  an  extensive  field  gently 
sloping  towards  the  Tweed,  within  a  mile  from  Berwick ;  and 
in  April  of  the  same  year  he  fought  under  the  leadership  of 
his  uncle.  Earl  Warenne,  at  the  battle  of  Dunbar,  when  the 
Scottish  army  under  Baliol  was  signally  defeated.  Scotland 
then  falling  under  the  English  yoke,  Edward  constituted 
Henry  de  Percy  governor  of  Galloway  and  Ayr.  Sir  William 
Wallace  soon,  however,  began  to  awaken  the  patriotism  of 
fais  countrymen  and  to  obtain  advantages  over  the  English* 
The  earl  <rf  Warenne  was  ordered  to  suppress  these  popular 
risings ;  and  he  sent  his  nephew  (Henry  de  Percy),  and  Lord 
Clifford  with  an  army  into  the  west  of  Scotland;  and  they 
Game  up  with  the  Scottish  host  near  to  Irwin.  Inferior  in 
numbers  to  the  English  and  weakened  by  internal  dissension, 
the  Scottish  army  surrendered  without  a  battle  to  Percy  and 
Clifford,  on  the  condition  of  safety  to  their  lives  and  estates. 
The  heroic  Wallace,  however,  was  not  a  party  to  this  sub- 
mission. Rewards  were  showered  upon  Henry  de  Percy ;  in 
consideration  of  his  great  and  faithful  services  a  grant  was 
made  to  him,  by  the  king,  of  all  the  lands  in  England  as  well 
as  in  Scotland  which  belonged  to  Ingelram  de  Baliol,  and 
which  had  descended  to  his  heir  Ingelram  de  Umfraville, 
then  in  rebellion  against  the  king.      After  this  he  was 

*  The  pedigrees  given  of  tbe  Percys  between  the  conquest  and  the  acquisition 
6f  AUiwiek  barony  are  confused  and  e?en  contradictory.  I  have  endeaTonred 
to  give  a  clear  and  correct  account  of  the  succession ;  though  a  very  brief  one, 
as  not  immediately  hextfag  on  our  history. 

Digitized  by 



repeatedly  engaged  in  the  Scottish  wars.  Robert  Bruce  had 
been  crowned  at  Scone  in  1306^  and  had  again  roused  the 
valour  of  the  Scots^  when  Edward^  though  feeling  the  decay 
of  age,  summoned  Henry  de  Percy,  and  other  barons,  to  enter 
Scotland  with  all  the  forces  of  the  northern  counties  in  the 
beginning  of  summer;  but  before  the  time  of  rendezvous 
arrived,  Robert  Bruce  was  defeated  by  Aymer  de  Valence  at 
Methven.  Bruce,  however,  did  not  lose  heart,  though  most 
of  his  supporters  were  slain  or  scattered ;  but  about  Michael- 
mas, appeared  in  Cantire  with  a  band  of  hardy  followers, 
whence  he  sent  some  of  his  own  people  to  collect  the  rent  of 
his  lands  in  Carrick.  Henry  de  Percy  hastened  to  defend 
these  estates,  which  had  been  granted  to  him  by  Edward ; 
but  Bruce,  passing  the  Frith  from  Cantire,  surprised  Percy  at 
night,  slew  some  of  his  men,  seized  his  war  horses  and  plate, 
and  compelled  him  to  seek  refuge  in  Tumberry  Castle,  where 
he  was  besieged  by  Bruce.  Edward,  receiving  inteUigence 
of  the  danger  to  which  Percy  was  exposed,  sent  forces  to  his 
relief;  and  Bruce  being  unable  to  cope  witili  them,  retired  to 
fastnesses  in  the  highlands.  This  was  one  of  the  last  acts  of 
the  infirm  king  of  England,  who  was  then  afflicted  with  an 
incurable  disease,  under  which  he  sunk  at  Burgh-on-the- 
Sands,  on  the  5th  of  July,  1307,  when  making  another 
attempt  on  the  liberties  of  Scotland. 

For  some  time  Henry  de  Percy  appears  to  have  enjoyed 
the  favour  of  his  new  sovereign  Edward  II.,  from  whom  he 
received  several  grants.  In  1311,  he  obtained  from  the  king 
the  custody  of  the  bishoprick  of  Durham,  with  the  castles, 
lands,  and  tenements  belonging  to  it ;  and  in  the  same  year 
he  had  the  custody  of  the  manor  of  Temple-Wereby,  belong- 
ing to  the  Knights  Templars,  who  were  charged  by  Pope 
Clement  V.  with  being  guilty  of  apostacy,  idoktry,  heresy, 
and  other  sins.*  He  was  made  governor  of  both  Scarborough 
and  Bamburgh  Castles  in  1312.  For  a  time,  however,  he 
was  arrayed  against  his  sovereign.  The  extravagant  attach- 
ment of  the  king  to  his  favourite.  Piers  Gaveston  the  Gascon, 
the  honours  and  estates  he  heaped  upon  him,  conjoined  with 
the  rapacity  and  insolence  of  this  worthless  minion,  roused 
the  hostility  of  the  barons  of  England ;  and  they  insisted 
that  Gaveston  should  be  banished  from  the  kingdom.  The 
weak  king  clung  to  his  favourite ;  but  the  barons,  among 
whom  was  Henry  de  Percy,  raised  an  army  and  advanced 

•  Rym.  Feed.,  Vol.  II.,  pp.  181,  168. 

y  Google 

Digitized  by  ^ 


against  the  royal  party^  who  retired^  first  to  Newcastle  and 
then  to  Tynemouth,  where  the  king  and  Gaveston  embarked 
with  a  small  retinue  and  proceeded  to  Scarborough  Castle. 
The  favourite  remained  there,  believing  himself  safe,  until 
the  king,  who  went  to  York,  should  return  with  an  army  for 
his  relief  The  earl  of  Pembroke  and  Henry  de  Percy 
laid  siege  to  the  castle,  and  Gaveston  surrendered  on  capitu- 
lation, Pembroke  and  Percy  pledging  their  faith  that  no 
harm  should  happen  to  him.  The  barons,  however,  regard- 
less of  this  pledge,  doomed  him  to  be  beheaded  on  Blacklow 
Hill,  near  to  Warwick  Castle.  Enraged  with  Percy  for  this 
treatment  of  his  favourite,  the  king  ordered  his  escheator  to 
seize  on  all  the  lands,  tenements,  goods,  and  chattels  of 
Henry  de  Percy.  The  storm,  however,  was  for  a  while 
calmed;  a  pacification  was  concluded  between  the  barons 
and  the  king;  the  barons  on  humbling  themselves  before 
him  were  fully  pardoned,  and  the  property  of  Henry  de  Percy 
which  had  been  seized  by  the  king  was  restored. 

Besides  adding"  Alnwick  barony  to  his  possessions,  Henry 
de  Percy  purchased  the  lordship  of  Corbridge  in  Northumber- 
land. Alnwick  Castle,  which  had  fallen  into  a  ruined  state, 
was  almost  rebuilt  by  him  in  the  style  of  the  period.  After 
spending  a  bustling  Ufe  in  warfare  and  in  the  accumulation  of 
property,  he  died,  at  a  comparatively  early  age,  in  1315  (being 
then  only  about  42  or  43  years  of  age),  and  was  buried  in 
Foimtains  Abbey.  "In  Fountains  Abbey  lieth  he  before 
the  sacrament,  which  abbey  he  endowed  with  great  lands.'' 

He  was  married  to  Eleanor  Fitz-Alan,  whom  he  appointed 
guardian  of  his  estates,  and  who  survived  till  1328;  her 
shrine  in  Beverley  Minster  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
and  highly  finished  of  the  period — "  a  peerless  gem  of  flowii^ 
decorated  work."  Henry  de  Percy's  charitable  deeds  were  not 
notable;  he  founded  a  chantry  for  two  priests  in  the  chapel 
of  Semar  for  the  health  of  the  soul  of  Eleanor  his  wife,  and  all 
her  ancestors ;  and  he  gave  to  the  monks  of  Salley  lands,  and 
the  advowson  of  the  church  of  Gairgrave.*  The  chronicle 
of  Alnwick  Abbey  says  of  him,  that  "  he  was  a  magnanimous 
man,  because  he  would  not  suffer  injury  from  one  without  a 
heavy  revenge,  and  so  strenuously  governed  his  servants, 
that  they  were  feared  in  the  whole  realm  of  England."  In 
this  eulogy  we  see  only  the  dark  stem  warrior.  He  left 
two  sons,  Henry  and  William ;  but  the  heir  being  a  minor, 

•  Dug.  Mon.,  I.,  p.  842. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


the  king,  on  the  30th  July,  1S12,  took  possession  of  his 

Arms. — Oold,  a  blue  lion  rampant — Blue,  Jive  golden  fusils. 
Crest. — A  sort  of  fan,  not  peculiar  to  Percy.* 

Here  we  first  meet  with  the  blue  lion  rampant  as  a  Percy 
device.  ''It  is  possible/'  says  Mr.  Longstaffe,  ''that  the  lion 
was  assumed  in  remembrance  of  Joceline  of  Lovaine,  differ-* 
enced  from  the  cinctures  of  the  later  dukes  of  Brabant,  or  it 
might  be  only  indirectly  allusive  to  the  ducal  house  through 
the  lords  of  Arundel,  who  descended  from  Queen  Adelicia 
and  perhaps  used  a  lion  in  reference  to  her  descent." 


Henry  de  Percy  was  only  sixteen  years  of  age  when  his 
father  died.  His  career  was  distinguished ;  and  he  appears 
to  have  been  a  man  of  greater  ability  and  h^her  accomplish- 
ments than  his  father.  "  This  Henry,"  says  the  chronicle  of 
Alnwick  Abbey,  "was,  beyond  all  his  ancestors,  the  most 
famous  and  powerful."  He  in  his  youth  always  displayed 
BO  much  power  in  tournaments  and  exercises  with  the  lance 
as  to  attain  the  highest  honour.  Being  a  minor  when  his 
£a,ther  died,  the  custody  of  Alnwick  Castle,  with  the  manor 
and  vills  of  Alnwick,  Swynhou,  Tughall,  Alnham,  Denwick, 
and  Swynelocheles,  were  committed  to  John  de  Felton,  who 
was  constituted  constable  of  the  castle;  and  who  had  to 
maintain  forty  men  of  arms  and  forty  hobelars  in  the  castle, 
against  Scottish  enemies  and  rebels.f 

Henry  de  Percy,  even  when  a  minor,  was  highly  favoured 
by  the  king.  One  year  after  the  decease  of  his  father,  he 
received  a  grant  of  the  lands  in  Northumberland  which 
belonged  to  Patrick  Dunbar,  earl  of  March  ;t  this  included 
Beanley,  which  was  held  under  great  sergeantry — ^a  tenure 
which  was  not  subject  to  the  ordinary  feudal  conditions,  but 
required  the  service  of  Inborg  and  Hutborg,  or,  as  otherwise 
expressed,  of  inborough  and  outborough  between  England 

•  LoDgstBfie'a  Percy  Henldjpj. 

f  AblK  Rot  Orig.,  S  Edw.  IT.,  Ro.  6.  Hobeltn  wen  light  hone  toldien^ 
the  cATahy  of  the  herder  Ud4  ;  the  origm  of  the  mraae  it  douhtfol ;  aome  derive 
it  flmn  hobUk  (Fnnch),  m  coat  of  quilted  stuff;  hat  it  ii  men  prohahly  Izom 
kehin  (Fnnch),  a  little  ahort-maned  hone. 

I  Bot  Lit  Giant.,  8  Edw.  II.,  p.  1.  m. 

Digitized  by 



and  Scotland.  Seyeral  explanations  of  this  service  have 
been  ^ven,  but  the  most  probable  is,  that  the  baron  was 
obliged  to  bear  or  convey  the  royal  conintunications  between 
the  two  kingdoms.  While  still  under  age,  the  king  gave  to 
him,  in  1318,  the  custody  of  the  castle  and  manor  of  Alnwick, 
with  appurtenances,  for  the  defence  of  the  castle  against 
Scots  enemies  and  rebels,  without  anything  being  thence 
rendered  to  the  king.  In  this  year,  all  men  capable  of  bear* 
ing  arms,  from  twenty  years  of  age  to  sixty,  in  the  country 
north  of  the  Trent  were  summoned  to  resist  the  Scottish 

Henry  de  Percy  obtained  livery  of  his  lands  in  1322 ;  and 
in  the  same  year  he  was  made  governor  of  Pickering  Castle, 
and  of  the  town  and  castle  of  Scarborough.  At  York,  in 
1S£4,  he  received  the  honour  of  knighthood ;  and  for  this 
imposing  ceremony  he  was  supplied  with  apparel  out  of  the 
king's  own  wardrobe. 

From  an  early  period  of  his  life  to  its  close  he  was  fre- 
quently engaged  in  the  wars  with  Scotland.  Repeated 
inroads  had  been  made  by  the  Scots  into  England,  and  all 
attempts  to  bring  about  peace  having  failed,  Edward  11. 
made  large  preparations  to  repel  and  avenge  an  expedition 
led  by  Robert  Bruce  in  1322 ;  the  warden  of  the  marches 
was  ordered  to  arm  all  the  horse  and  foot  of  the  border 
district,  and  an  English  army  marched  without  resistance 
as  far  as  Edinburgh;  but  finding  no  adequate  supply  of 
provisions,  they  returned,  and  in  their  route  spoiled  Holyrood 
and  Melrose,  and  burnt  Dryburgh,  in  revenge  of  similar 
atrocities  committed  by  the  Scots  in  England.!  David,  earl 
of  Athol,  was  afterwards  appointed  by  the  king  of  England 
head  warden  over  Northumberland,  and  Henry  Percy  was 
required  to  be  obedient  to  him,  and  to  keep  a  sufficient 
garrison  in  Alnwick  Castle.  Wearied  out  with  these  inces- 
sant wars,  Edward  endeavoured  to  bring  them  to  an  end ; 
and  in  1323,  in  effect  acknowledged  the  independence  of 
Scotland,  and  agreed  with  Bruce  to  a  truce  for  two  years. 
But  neither  kings  nor  truces  could  quell  the  turbulence  of 
the  border  insurgents;  and  to  such  extreme  distress  and 
fear  were  many  of  the  inhabitants  of  Northumberland  reduced 
at  this  time,  that  they  entered  into  engagements  with  the 
Scottish  marauders  to  pay  a  kind  of  black  mail  to  be  free 
from  aggression. 

•  Bot  Scot,  YoL  h,  p.  190.  t  Fordon. 

Digitized  by 



Henry  Percy  gave  important  aid  to  the  queen  of  England 
and  Prince  Edward,  when  in  1826  they  sought  the  destruction 
of  Spenser,  the  rapacious  favourite  by  whom  the  king  was 
led.  Percy,  with  his  forces,  joined  the  queen  at  Gloucester ; 
and  this  seryice  bringing  him  into  favour  with  her  party,  he 
obtained  the  custody  of  Skipton  Castle ;  and  was  afterwards 
appointed  one  of  the  regency,  "  to  have  the  rtde  and  govern- 
ment of  the  kingdom  during  the  minority  of  Edward  III." 

War  broke  out  in  1326  between  England  and  Scotland. 
The  Scots  enemies  and  rebels,  at  nignt  having  surprised 
some  castles  and  fortalices  in  Northumberland,  the  king 
commanded  Henry  de  Percy  to  fortify  and  provision  Alnwick 
Castle,  and  the  bishop  of  Durham  to  do  the  same  to  other 
castles  in  Northumberland.  Henry  de  Percy  undertook  to 
keep  the  march  towards  the  northern  part  from  the  14th  of 
February  to  Whitsunday  with  one  hundred  men-at-arms  and 
one  hundred  hobelars,  and  with  his  own  men  as  many 
beyond  as  he  pleased;  and  in  payment  of  this  service  he 
received  one  thousand  marks.*  Percy,  however,  soon  found 
that  this  force  was  insufficient  for  the  defence  of  the  borders ; 
for  frequent  raids  were  made  into  England  which  he  could 
not  resist.  To  meet  one  of  these  invasions  in  1327,  the 
young  king,  Edward  III.,  led  a  large  army  into  the  north ; 
but  the  Scots,  under  experienced  generals,  passed  through 
desert  and  ru^ed  paths,  so  that  the  English,  who  attempted 
to  follow,  were  exhausted  with  toil,  hunger,  and  watching. 
Crossing,  imder  the  skilful  guidance  of  Doi^las,  what  was 
deemed  an  impassable  bog,  two  miles  in  length,  the  Scots 
escaped,  on  a  dark  moonless  night,  to  their  own  country,  laden 
with  plunder.  Disheartened  by  their  want  of  success,  the 
English  army  was  disbanded.  Ever  on  the  alert  to  take 
advantage  of  the  carelessness  of  their  foes,  the  Scots  soon 
after  laid  siege  to  the  castles  of  Norham  and  of  Alnwick;  the 
former  was  taken,  but  the  latter  made  a  successful  resistance, 
and  three  Scotch  knights,  William  de  Montalt,  John  de 
Clapham,  and  Malis  de  Dobery,  with  some  others,  were  slain 
before  its  walls.f 

All  attempts  for  a  lasting  peace  had  proved  abortive, 
mainly  because  the  king  of  England  was  unwilling  distinctly 
to  admit  the  independence  of  Scotland;  but  after  the  murder 
of  the  weak  and  unfortunate  sovereign  Edward  II.,  the  queen 
dowager  and  her  paramour  Mortimer,  who  governed  England 

•  Rym.  Foed.,  II.,  p.  688.  f  Fordun,  1.  XIII.,  c  12. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


in  the  name  of  the  young  king,  became  so  odious  to  the 
people  of  England,  that  they  found  it  necessary  to  obtain 
peace  with  Scotland  on  any  terms.  Powers  were  therefore 
given  in  1327  to  Henry  Percy  and  William  de  Zousehe  to 
negotiate  a  lasting  peace;  and  the  result  was  a  treaty 
between  the  two  kingdoms,  which  was  sanctioned  by  the 
parliament  held  at  Northampton,  and  ratified  by  Edward  on 
the  4th  of  May,  1328;  the  claim  of  sovereignty  over  Scotland 
was  given  up  by  England ;  and  to  cement  a  cordial  union^  it 
was  agreed  that  Joan,  the  sister  of  Edward,  should  be  married 
to  David,  the  son  and  heir  of  Robert  Bruce.  The  interests 
of  Henry  Percy  were  not  neglected ;  for  in  accordance  with 
this  treaty,  he  had  restored  to  him  the  lands  and  possessions 
he  formerly  held  in  Scotland,  and  of  which  he  had  been 
deprived  during  the  wars.  He  was  appointed  one  of  the 
justiciaries  and  commissioners  for  causing  the  peace  to  be 
kept  along  the  borders  of  Northumberland ;  and  it  was  part 
of  his  dutv  to  perambulate  the  ancient  boundaries ;  and,  in 
concert  with  men  from  Scotland,  to  revise  them  whensoever 
this  was  deemed  needful.  Not  long  after  this,  on  the  7th  of 
June,  1829,  died  Robert  Bruce — a  great  man,  who  will  be 
held  in  honour  throughout  all  time,  for  the  valour,  the 
wisdom,  and  indomitable  fortitude  which  he  evinced  in  de- 
livering his  country  from  foreign  bondage.  . 

The  time,  however,  had  not  yet  come  for  a  cordial  and 
lasting  peace  between  the  two  countries  ;  and  a  cause  was 
soon  found,  after  the  death  of  Robert  Bruce,  to  open  again 
the  flood-gates  of  war.  Percy*s  estates  in  Scotland  had  been 
restored  to  him;  but  those  of  Henry  de  Beaumont,  Lord 
Wake,  and  others,  had  not  been  delivered  up.  These  power- 
ful barons  sought  redress  by  endeavouring  to  change  the 
dynasty  of  Scotland.  An  expedition  headed  by  Lord  Beau- 
mont, a  man  of  ability  and  experience,  sailed  from  Ravenspur 
near  the  Humber,  to  the  Frith  of  Forth,  with  the  avowed 
object  of  placing  Edward  Baliol  on  the  throne  of  Scotland. 
The  English  forces  landed  at  Kinghom,  and  achieved  over 
the  Scots  a  victory  so  marvellous,  that  it  appears  like  a 
romance  intruded  into  history.  A  little  English  army  of 
three  thousand  men  overthrew  a  great  Scottish  host,  and 
slew  thirteen  thousand  on  the  battle  field  at  Duplin.*  Baliol 
was  crowned  at  Perth  on  the  24th  of  September^  but  his 
triumph  was  short ;  his  throne  like  an  unsubstantial  dream 

*  Heming£>rd. 

Digitized  by 



rapidly  feded  away  before  the  end  of  the  year.  While  at 
Annan  in  supposed  security,  he  was  suddenly  attacked  at 
the  dead  of  night  by  Randolph,  Douglas,  and  Frazer,  with  a 
chosen  band  of  a  thousand  men,  and  he  was  compelled  to  flee 
half  naked  on  a  horse  without  a  saddle,  across  the  Solway 
Sands  to  seek  refuge  in  England^  leaving  his  brother  Henry 
dead  behind  him. 

Secretly  had  the  king  of  England  countenanced  this  aggres- 
sion upcm  Scotland;  and  its  partial  success  awakened  his 
ambition,  to  achieve  what  his  grandfather  nearly  accomplidied 
— ^the  supremacy  of  England  over  Scotland.  Some  Scottish 
raids  across  the  borders  gave  a  colourable  pretext  to  his 
leading  a  powerful  army  into  Scotland.  In  1333  he  besieged 
Berwick,  but  a  Scottish  army  came  to  its  relief.  A  battle 
was  fought  at  Halidon  Hill  near  Berwick,  where  the  Scots 
were  signally  defeated;  Boece  says  they  lost  fourteen  thousand 
men.  Berwick  in  consequence  surrendered ;  and  Balid  with 
an  army  of  twenty-six  thousand  men  advanced  into  Scotland, 
and  reduced  nearly  the  whole  under  his  power.  Henry 
Percy  was  present  at  the  battle  of  Halidon  Hill ;  and  on  the 
S3rd  of  July  was  made  governor  of  Berwick  and  one  of  the 
guardians  of  the  eastern  side  of  Scotland.*  Along  with 
Ralph  Neville,  William  de  Shareshall,  and  Thomas  de  Bam- 
burgh,  he  attended,  as  deputy  of  the  king  of  England,  two 
meetings  of  the  Scottish  parliament,  to  seek  confirmation  of 
the  convention  between  him  and  Baliol,  wherein  Baliol  had 
bartered  away  the  independence  of  his  country.  At  the 
parliament  held  at  Perth,  there  were  granted  to  Henry  Percy 
by  Edward  Baliol,  the  pele  of  Lockmaben  with  the  valleys 
of  Allendale  and  Moffatdale,  which  had  formed  part  of  the 
estate  of  Randolph,  earl  of  Murray.  This  gift,  however,  he 
did  not  long  enjoy ;  but  King  Edward  III.,  on  September 
4th,  1334,  gave  to  him,  in  compensation  for  its  loss,  the 
castle  and  town  of  Jedburgh,  the  towns  of  Bon-Jedburgh 
and  Hassyden,  and  the  forest  of  Jedburgh;  and  he  also 
granted  to  him  fifty  marks  yearly  out  of  the  customs  of 
Berwick,  and  the  custody  of  the  castle  there,  for  which,  one 
hundred  marks  had  to  be  paid  to  him  in  time  of  peace,  and 
£200  in  time  of  war.  Annandale  was  given  to  Edward  de 

Notwithstanding  the  success  of  Edward,  the  feelings  of 
independence  and  heroism,  which  the  brave  Robert  Bruce 

•  KnyghtOD,  2564.    Rot  Scot,  I.,  p.  256^  f  I^t  Scot,  I.,  p.  280. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


had  kindled  in  the  minds  of  the  Scots,  could  not  be  extin- 
guished. To  the  poor  tool  of  the  EngUsh  king  they  would 
not  submit ;  and  a  fonnidable  confederacy  was  soon  formed, 
which  compelled  Baliol  to  seek  refuge  in  England*  Edward 
was  again  in  Scotland,  in  1335,  with  an  army  to  regain  his 
lost  authority.  On  his  return  to  England,  he  halted  at 
Doddington  on  the  Ist  of  November,  and  he  was  at  Alnwick 
firom  the  3rd  to  the  9th  of  the  same  month;  and  while  there 
agreed  to  a  truce  with  Sir  Andrew  Murray,  one  of  the 
guardians  for  Scotland.  Notwithstanding  this,  England 
waged  incessant  war  with  Scotland  during  the  succeeding 
seven  years;  Edward  fighting  for  dominion,  and  Scotland 
ioT  independence.  Frequently  was  Henry  de  Percy  engaged 
in  these  movements;  and  we  find  that  for  his  services  he 
received,  in  1336,  two  hundred  marks  firom  the  exchequer. 

To  repel  an  invasion  made  in  1337,  the  various  holders  of 
baronies  and  manors  were  summoned  to  assemble  at  New- 
castle accompanied  by  a  number  of  their  vassals ;  Grilbert  de 
Um&aville  had  to  bring  with  him  thirty  men-at-arms  and 
fifty  hobdass ;  Henry  de  Percy  sixty  men-at-arms,  twenty 
hobelars,  and  twenty  archers ;  Ralph  de  Neville  the  same 
number ;  John  de  Groy  twenty  men-at-arms ;  John  de  Acton 
two  men-at-arms.* 

Henry  Percv  in  1340  undertook,  in  conjunction  with  Gil- 
bert Umfiraville,  Ralph  Neville,  and-  Anthony  Lucy,  to  set 
forth  at  their  own  costs,  two  hundred  and  ten  men-at-arms 
and  two  hundred  and  twenty  archers  to  serve  against  the 
Scots.  All  these  efforts,  however,  could  not  crush  the  spirit 
of  Scotland;  for  in  1342,  a  little  before  the  return  of  the 
young  King  David  Bruce  from  France,  the  English  had 
been  driven  out  of  every  part  of  Scotland  except  Berwick ; 
and  now  when  their  own  country  was  freed  from  their  foes,  the 
Scots  began  again  to  ravage  the  English  border;  while  Edward 
engaged  in  his  ambitious  attempts  in  France,  could  not,  for  a 
time,  repel  the  ag^essors.  A  truce,  however,  was  made  to 
last  for  three  years,  but  it  was  ill-observed  by  both  parties-f 

The  year  1346  was  disastrous  both  to  France  and  Scotland; 
the  former  was  overcome  at  Cressy,  and  the  latter  at  Neville's 

*  Rot  Scot,  I.,  p.  506,  where  the  names  of  oAen  are  given. 

f  In  **  Botali  Scods,"  Vol.  X.,  there  are  copies  of  the  several  appointments  of 
Henry  de  Perey  to  he  keeper  of  the  marches  of  Berwick,  &c. ;  and  orders  to  the 
collectors  of  the  cnstoms  in  Berwick  to  pay  him  salaries  due  out  of  the  customs 
on  wool,  leather,  and  wool-fells. 

Digitized  by 



Cross.  Urged  by  his  ally  the  king  of  France^  David  Bruce 
invaded  England  M^ith  a  large  army  of  thirty  thousand  men, 
with  which  he  ravaged  the  country,  and  advanced  as  far  as 
Durham.  Edward,  king  of  England,  was  in  France;  but 
according  to  the  romantic  history  of  Froissart,  Queen  Phillipa 
manifested  the  spirit  of  a  heroine ;  and,  to  drive  back  the 
invasion,  summoned  the  peers  and  prelates  of  the  realm  with 
their  followers  to  meet  at  York.  An  army  of  sixteen  thousand 
valiant  men  rose  in  reply  to  her  call.  She  is  said  to  have 
led  this  army  as  far  as  the  battle-field,  and  before  leaving  to 
have  addressed  them — entreating  them  to  do  their  duty  well 
in  defending  the  honour  of  the  king,  and  for  the  love  of  God. 
She  then  retired  to  Newcastle  to  await  the  issue.*  It  is 
doubtful,  however,  whether  the  queen  took  so  prominent  a 
part  in  these  events. 

The  Scottish  army  was  arrayed  on  the  moor-lands  westward 
of  Durham,  in  three  divisions ;  the  right  wing  being  led  by 
the  earl  of  Moray  and  Sir  William  Douglas ;  the  IdBt  wing 
by  Robert  the  high  steward  of  Scotland ;  and  the  centre  by 
the  king  himself.  The  English  army  in  four  divisions 
marched  past  Neville's  Cross  to  attack  the  enemy ;  the  right 
wing  being  led  by  Lord  Percy,  Gilbert  de  Umfraville,  and 
other  northern  barons ;  the  left  wing  by  Sir  Thomas  Rokeby, 
sheriff  of  Yorkshire;  the  centre  by  Ralph  Lord  Neville, 
along  with  his  son,  the  archbishop  of  York,  and  Lord  Hast- 
ings ;  and  the  reserve,  consistii^  chiefly  of  horsemen,  were 
under  the  charge  of  William  Ross,  Thomas  de  Grey,  Robert 
de  Ogle,  John  de  Coupland,  and  others;  the  whole  was 
commanded  by  Lord  Neville. 

The  church  lent  her  aid  to  the  English  army;  a  large 
crucifix  was  carried  before  the  ranks;  and  the  prior  and 
monks  of  Durham  bore  the  holy  corporax  cloth  of  Saint 
Cuthbert,  elevated  on  the  point  of  a  spear,  from  the  convent 
to  a  little  hill  adjoining  the  battle-field ;  and  around  it  they 
knelt,  praying  heaven  to  aid  the  English  host. 

On  an  autumn  morning  at  nine  o'clock,  on  the  17th  of 
October^  1346,  the  trumpets  sounded  on  both  sides  and  the 
battle  began.  For  some  time  it  was  fought  with  varying 
success.  The  archers  of  the  English  left  wing  carried  death 
into  the  division  of  the  Scots  led  by  Moray  and  Douglas — 
the  former  was  killed  and  the  latter  captured.  But  the  right 
wing  of  the  English,  commanded  by  Percy,  was  broken  by 

•  Froissart's  Chronicles,  Book  I.,  Chap.  137. 

Digitized  by 



tlie  assault  of  the  Scots  division  led  by  the  high  steward ; 
it  was  saved  from  total  defeat  by  the  aid  of  the  reserve 
division.  The  central  divisions  of  the  two  armies  gallantly 
fought  against  each  other ;  and  though  the  victorious  archers^ 
under  Sir  Thomas  B.okeby,  attacked  the  right  flank  of  the 
Scottish  battalion^  the  brave  Scottish  king  still  maintained 
his  ground ;  but,  at  this  critical  moment,  the  high  steward 
and  the  earl  of  March  led  their  division  from  the  field ;  and 
it  is  feared  that  they  perfidiously  deserted  their  king  in  this 
hour  of  peril,  for  no  attempt  was  made  by  Lord  Percy's 
forces  to  pursue  them.  Percy's  division  then  attacked  the 
right  flank  of  the  king  of  Scotland's  centre,  which  being  now 
hemmed  in  on  all  sides,  nothing  was  left  for  them  but  death 
or  captivity.  Gallantly  did  King. David  defend  himself 
against  his  numerous  foes ;  his  nobles  bravely  rallied  round 
him,  till  most  of  them  were  slain ;  of  escape  there  was  no 
hope,  yet  still  the  king  fought  manfully,  though  badly 
wounded  by  an  arrow  in  his  leg  and  by  another  in  his  face, 
till  John  Coupland,  a  Northumbrian  squire  and  famous  war- 
rior, struck  the  weapon  out  of  the  king's  hand,  and  in  this 
defenceless  condition  he  was  taken ;  before,  however,  being 
captured,  he  struck  Coupland's  face  with  his  gauntlet  with 
so  much  force  as  to  knock  out  two  of  the  squire's  teeth.  The 
battle  lasted  but  three  hours;  the  Scots  were  completely 
defeated  and  pursued  as  for  as  the  Tyne.  Their  loss  was 
great ;  it  has  been  estimated  at  fifteen  thousand,  but  this  is 
doubtless  an  exaggeration.* 

The  king  elated  with  this  victory,  lost  no  time  in  forward- 
ing to  the  barons  of  the  northern  parts  of  England  a  letter  of 
thanks  for  the  successful  display  of  their  "  most  excellent 
fidelity  and  valour;"  and  along  with  this,  he  indulges 
in  strong  expressions  of  pious  thanksgivings — to  the  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  who  disposes  of  events  throughout  the  heavens 
and  the  earth,  gracing  him  and  his  lieges  with  high  honours; 
and  praises  and  thanks  he  offers  in  the  language  of  himxility 
and  fervid  devotion.  Such  are  the  sentiments  uttered  on 
contemplating  the  result  of  a  fearful  slaughter  scene !  Lord 
Grilbert  de  Umfraville,  Henry  de  Percy,  Balph  de  Neville, 
John  de  Mowbray,  Thomas  de  Lucy,  Thomas  de  Rokeby, 
Thomas  de  Grey,  Robert  de  Ogle,  John  de  Coupland,  Robert 

*  Bobert  White,  who  has  done  much  as  a  poet  and  historian  to  illustrate  the 
bordera,  has  given  a  full  and  critical  account  of  this  battle  in  a  remarkably  able 
memoir  in  the  **  Archaeologia  ^liana." 

Digitized  by 



Bertram^  and  William  D'Eyncourt  are  thus  thanked  by  their 
king.*  The  character  of  the  English  heroes  in  this  battle  is 
drawn  by  the  chronicler  of  Lanercost. 

The  Northumberland  squire  having  secured  so  rich  a  prize^ 
lingered  not  on  the  battle-field;  but^  forcing  his  way  through 
the  crowds  rode  off  with  the  captive  king,  and  never  halted 
till  he  reached  Ogle  Castle  on  the  river  Blyth  in  Northum- 
berland. The  queen^  it  is  said,  displeased  at  this,  demanded 
him  to  bring  to  her  the  king  of  the  Scots ;  but  Goupland 
declared  that  he  would  give  his  captive  to  no  man  or  woman, 
excepting  to  his  own  lord  the  king  of  England.f  His  valour 
and  loyal  service  were,  however,  appreciated  and  richly 
rewarded  by  his  sovereign.  His  chivalry  gained  him  wealth 
and  fame ;  he  was  created  a  knight  banneret,  and  received  a 
grant  of  £400  a  year  out  of  the  customs  of  London,  and 
£100  a  year  out  of  the  customs  of  Berwick,  until  other 
equivalent  lands  were  granted  to  him.  Ultimately  to  him 
was  given  by  the  king,  one  moiety  of  the  barony  of  Wooler 
along  with  other  fees.  He  was  sdso  made  sheriff  of  North- 
umberland, and  retained  for  six  vears  that  office,  which  was 
then  profitable  as  well  as  dignified.  For  some  time  too^  he 
was  governor  of  Roxburgh  Castle,  and  along  with  Henry  de 
Percy,  warden  of  the  marches.  The  pipe  rolls  evidence  that 
he  was  connected  with  Alnwick ;  for  in  18th  Edward  III.^ 
to  John  Couplcmd  was  committed  for  his  good  services,  the 
custody  of  three  messuages  and  eight  acres  of  land  in  Aln- 
wick, and  also  of  other  lands  in  Prendwidk,  Great  Kyle, 
and  Reaveley,  which  belonged  to  William  de  Rodam,  senior, 
who  was  an  enemy  among  the  Scots.} 

The  loss  of  this  battle  and  the  capture  of  the  king  was  a 
heavy  blow  to  Scotland,  which  was  soon  afterwards  invaded 
by  the  English.     Lord  Percy  was^  on  the  SOth  of  March, 

•  Rot  Scot 

t  The  Scots  magnates  as  well  as  the  king  were  sent  to  the  tower  of  London 
in  Beeemher,  1846 ;  hut  the  ransom  of  these  prisoners  had  to  he  paid  to  their 
xespectiye  captors.    A  list  of  them  is  given  in  Rot  Scot,  I.,  p.  678, 

X  John  Coupland  married  Joan,  sister  of  Henry  del  Strother,  of  Kirknewton. 
Knyghton  says  he  was  mnrdered  in  1862  hy  his  own  countrymen.  From  an 
inquisition  made  in  1368  concerning  those  who  slew  him,  it  appears  that  he  was 
slain  at  Bolton  Moor  hy  John  de  Cliflbrd,  whose  lands  in  consequence  were  granted 
to  John  de  Coupland  in  fee  in  1866  s  the  county  of  Northumberland  had,  in  the 
•ame  year,  to  pay  one  thousand  marks  to  obtain  a  pardon  £or  his  death— *so  highly 
▼alued  was  this  warrior  by  his  sovereign. 

Digitized  by 



1S47,  sumnMmed  to  repair  to  Scotland  with  his  quota  of 
men— one  hundred  men-at-arms  and  as  many  archers  on 
horseback ;  he  was  allowed  as  pay,  six  shillings  and  eight- 
pence;  for  his  knights,  two  shillings;  his  squires,  one 
shilling;  and  his  archers,  fourpence  per  day.  John  de 
Conpland  supplied  twenty  men-at-arms  and  twenty  archers. 
BaUol  entered  Scotland  with  ten  thousand  men  on  its  western 
side ;  and  Henry  Percy  and  Neville  with  an  army  of  the 
same  number  invaded  it  by  way  of  Berwick.  These  hostili- 
ties were,  however,  brought  to  a  close ;  for  a  truce  was  agreed 
to  between  France  and  England,  in  which  Scotland  was 
included ;  and  this  truce  lasted  nearly  eight  years,  though  it 
was  often  infringed  by  the  turbulent  men  of  the  borders. 
But  before  the  renewal  of  active  hostilities  with  Scotland, 
Henry  de  Percy  had  ceased  to  be  an  actor  on  the  stage  of 
life.  The  ferocity  of  border  warfare  was  somewhat  tamed 
by  a  fearful  plague,  which  in  1348  and  1349  swept  over 
England  and  Scotland  like  a  destroying  angel.  This  visita- 
tion was  the  most  appalling  on  record ;  along  the  borders  it 
destroyed  one  third  of  the  inhabitants.  Not  a  little  of  its 
virulence  must  be  attributed  to  the  incessant  warfare,  which 
destroyed  the  means  of  subsistence  and  burnt  down  dwellings, 
leaving  the  miserable  inhabitants  not  slain  by  the  sword,  to 
become  the  victims  of  fear,  anxiety,  exposure,  and  &mine. 

Henry  de  Percy  was  occasionally  engaged  in  the  conti- 
nental wars;  in  1340,  he  was  in  the  great  sea  fight  between 
the  English  and  French  before  Sluys  in  Flanders,  and  in- 
consideration  of  his  expenses,  £500  were  assigned  to  him 
out  of  the  public  taxes ;  two  years  afterwards,  he  was  present 
at  the  siege  of  Nantes  in  Brittany ;  and  he  was  again  in 
France  with  the  Black  Prince  in  1347. 

Like  his  father  he  seems  to  have  had  a  keen  regard  to  his 
own  aggrandisement,  and  he  not  unfrequently  was  the  reci- 
pient of  public  money  and  grants  of  lands.  At  the  early  part 
of  his  career,  he  must  have  kept  around  him  a  large  band  of 
military  retainers ;  and  it  would  even  appear,  that,  like  the 
leaders  of  the  free  companies  on  the  continent,  he  in  a 
modified  way  sold  the  services  of  his  vassals.  The  contracts 
made  by  him  for  the  defence  of  the  borders  are  ciuious.  In 
1327,  he  bound  himself,  on  the  condition  of  being  paid 
£830  3s.  4d.,  to  keep  in  his  own  county  in  the  marches  to- 
wards Scotland,  an  army  of  fifty-nine  men-at-arms  and  two 
hundred  hobelars  for  twenty-five  days ;  and  for  payment  he 
had  granted  to  him  £150  out  of  the  debts  which  the  prior  of 

Digitized  by 



Lincoln  owed^  and  the  residue  of  £\80  3s.  out  of  the  port  of 
Newcastle  *  By  indenture  in  1328^  he  engaged  to  serve  the 
king  with  a  certain  number  of  men-at-arms^  both  in  time  of 
peace  and  war^  during  the  term  of  his  life ;  and  for  this  he 
was  to  receive  a  yearly  salary  of  five  hundred  marks.  This 
strange  contract  led  to  a  more  strange  issue,  for  it  was  the 
means  of  bringing  into  the  possession  of  the  Percys  extensive 
estates.  First,  in  lieu  of  this  salary  of  five  hundred  marks, 
the  king  granted  to  him  the  castle  of  Warkworth ;  and  next 
in  1328,  after  an  act  had  been  passed,  making  '^  all  retainers 
in  time  of  peace  to  be  void/*  the  king  taking  notice  in  what 
sort  he  had  retained  him,  did  therefore  grant  to  him  and  his 
heirs  in  recompense  thereof,  the  castle  and  manor  of  Wark- 
worth, the  manors  of  Rothbury,  Corbridge,  and  Newbum, 
which  had  belonged  to  Sir  John  de  Clavering,  but  which  on 
his  death  without  issue  devolved  on  the  crown.t  Marvellous 
times  these  were,  when  large  estates  could  be  tossed  about 
like  tennis  balls  I  Another  instance  may  be  given :  when  a 
banneret  in  1326,  he  represented  to  the  king  that  there  were 
wages  due  to  him,  the  sum  of  £851  14s.  4d.  for  his  service 
in  Scotland ;  and  he  obtained  an  assignation  of  £200,  to  be 
paid  out  of  the  tenths  due  to  the  crown  from  the  archdeaconry 
of  Cleveland.  We  hear  of  one  of  his  retainers,  and  of  the 
manner  in  which  they  served  .and  were  remunerated.  Wil- 
liam, the  son  of  John  de  Rodhum,  was  retained  to  serve  him 
both  in  peace  and  war,  with  one  companion,  until  the  full 
age  of  John,  the  son  of  John  de  Rodhum;  and  for  this 
service,  in  time  of  war,  William  de  Rodhum  had  to  have 
apparel  as  his  other  yeomen,  and  hay,  oats,  horse  shoes  and 
nails  for  six  horses,  with  waggons  for  six  grooms,  and  recom- 
pense for  such  horses  as  should  be  lost  in  the  wars ;  and  in 
consideration  of  this  service,  Percy,  who  was  the  feudal 
superior  of  Houghton,  granted  to  William  the  wardship  of 
the  lands  of  John  de  Rodhum,  lying  in  Houghton,  imtil  the 
full  age  of  the  said  John. 

Henry  Percy,  in  1327,  received  from  the  king  the  custody 
of  the  manor  and  castle  of  Skipton.  He  founded,  in  1329,  a 
chantry  for  two  priests  in  the  chapel  of  Semar  to  celebrate 
divine  service,  for  his  own  soul  and  the  soul  of  his  mother 
and  all  their  ancestors,  endowing  it  with  one  messuage, 
twenty  oxgangs  of  land,  and  six  acres  of  meadow  in  W^e 

•  Cal.  Rot,  1  £dw.  II.,  B*li8  25,  26. 
t  Cal.  Rot,  2  Edw.  IIL,  Ro.  18. 

Digitized  by 



within  the  lordship  of  Semar.  We  hear  now  of  few  grants 
to  religious  houses.  The  enormous  acquisition  of  lands  by 
bishops^  chapters,  and  monasteries  had  been  an  increasing 
evil,  and  excited  the  jealousy  and  hostility  of  the  sovereigns ; 
it  was  restrained  by  acts  passed  in  the  reign  of  Edward  I., 
8o  that  land  could  not  afterwards  be  alienated  to  religious 
bodies  without  license  from  the  king. 

Henry  de  Percy  died  on  February  26th,  1362.  ''He, 
when  near  his  end,"  says  the  chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey, 
*'had  a  great  affection  to  this  abbey,  but  alas!  when  detained 
by  a  slight  infirmity  in  the  castle  of  Warkworth  he  died 
unexpectedly,  and  was  honourably  buried  in  Alnwick  Abbey." 
The  events  of  his  life  shew  that  he  was  an  active  warrior,  and 
especially  pre-eminent  in  the  north  from  the  large  number  of 
vassals  in  his  service.  He  married  Imania*  de  Clifford,  who 
died  in  1865 ;  Peeris  says : — 

**  Lady  Ydonye  \m  wife,  whick  wu  cirenmspeet  and  wise. 
In  Beverlye  Minster  is  tombed  in  right-costly  wise." 

According  to  Leland,  this  tomb  was  of  white  alabaster ;  but 
it  cannot  now  be  identified. 

Arms. — A  lion  rampant — Slue,  golden  fusib  in  f ess. 
Cbest. — On  a  chapeau,  a  Uon  passant 

His  will  made  on  the  13th  of  September,  1349,  which  has 
been  printed  in  the  Teatamenta  Eboracensia,  is  remarkable 
as  illustrating  not  his  own  character  only,  but  the  sentiments 
and  habits  of  the  period.  Some  of  the  bequests  I  shall  briefly 
give.  He  left  fifty  marcs  for  wax  to  be  burnt  around  his  body, 
and  to  poor  ecclesiastics  for  the  good  of  his  soul ;  twenty 
shillings  to  two  hundred  priests  saying  psalms  for  his  soul ; 
one  hundred  marcs  for  distribution  among  the  poor,  and  one 
hundred  shillings  for  oblations  on  the  day  of  his  interment ; 
one  hundred  shillings  for  the  expenses  of  his  hostelry  even  to 
the  day  after  his  interment ;  £20  to  be  distributed  to  the 
poor,  on  the  way,  while  his  corpse  was  carried  to  the  place 
of  sepulture;  £16  to  be  divided^ in  equal  portions  among  the 
parish  churches  of  Semar,  Nafferton,  Lekyngfeld,  Catton, 
Spofford,  Topcliff,  Petteworth,  and  Alnewyk;  £20  to  the 
chaplains  of  Semar,  and  thirty  shillings  to  the  church  of 

*  Win  of  Henry  Percy,  Test.  Ebor.,  p.  57 ;  oAer  anthorities  give  the  nain« 


Digitized  by 



Fosceton;  because  formerly  he  had  resolved  to  go  to  the 
Holy  Land^  and  for  this  journey  had  set  aside  one  thousand 
marcs^  he  willed,  that  if  his  son  Henry  would  go  this  journey 
in  his  name,  he  should  have  this  one  thousand  marcs ;  to  the 
abbot  of  Alnewyk  he  gave  ten  marcs;  to  the  preaching 
monks  of  Bamburgh  twenty  shillings;  to  the  Carmelite 
monks  of  Alnewyk  forty  shillings;  to  twenty  chaplains 
singing  for  his  soul  for  one  year,  one  hundred  marcs; 
and  to  thirty-six  other  churches  or  ecclesiastical  bodies  he 
bequeathed  about  £80.  There  are  bequests  to  a  great 
number  of  persons ;  to  his  wife  Imania,  to  his  sons  Henry, 
Thomas,  Boger,  to  his  daughters  Margaret  and  Isabella,  to 
William  de  Aton,  Gilbert  de  Aton,  Ralph  de  Neville,  and  to 
above  sixty  others.  One  very  singular  bequest  occurs ;  he 
leaves  £200  to  satisfy  any  one  in  those  parts  of  England 
through  which  he  had  passed  either  in  time  of  peace  or  of 
war,  who  might  complain,  that  anything  had  been  taken 
from  him  by  the  testator  or  his  people  against  his  will. 


Henry,  the  third  Baron  Percy  of  Alnwick,  was  thirty  years 
of  age  when  his  father  died,  and  immediately  afterwards,  he 
obtained  possession  of  his  lands,  excepting  those  which  his 
mother  Imania  had  for  her  dower.  Though  not  so  distin- 
guished as  his  predecessors,  Henry  seems  to  have  been  a 
more  amiable  and  better  man  than  any  of  them ;  less  of  the 
mere  warrior,  less  grasping  in  his  ambition,  and  more  humane 
in  his  disposition.  ^^He  was"  says  the  chronicle  of  Alnwick 
Abbey,  *^  a  man  of  little  stature,  but  brave,  faithful,  and 
grateful ;  and,  contented  with  the  lordship  left  by  his  father, 
he  desired  to  obtain  the  lands  and  possessions  of  no  one." 
We  look  with  the  more  pleasure  on  the  character  of  this 
kind-hearted  little  man,  as  it  contrasts  strongly  with  the 
character  of  those  who  had  gone  before  him. 

Before  his  father's  death,  he  was  present  at  the  famous 
battle  of  Cressy ;  and  during  the  fifteen  years  he  enjoyed  the 
barony,  he  filled  several  honourable  appointments.  In  1353, 
he  was  one  of  the  commissioners  to  receive  David  Bruce, 
king  of  Scotland,  from  Sir  John  de  Coupland,  the  sheriflf  of 
Northumberland,  and  to  set  him  free  according  to  treaty ; 
but  five  years  elapsed  before  the  unfortunate  king  regained 
his  liberty.  In  1355,  King  Edward  constituted  Henry  de 
Percy  keeper  of  the  castle  of  Roxburgh,  and  sheriff  of  the 

Digitized  by 



county  for  two  years,  with  the  farms  and  profits  thence 

Meantime  the  brave  little  kingdom  of  Scotland,  despite  of 
the  captivity  of  her  sovereign,  would  not  submit  to  a  foreign 
yoke.  By  a  daring  attempt  on  a  dark  night,  a  party  of  Scots 
scaled  the  walls  and  took  the  town  of  Berwick  m  1355 ;  but 
the  castle  was  unsuccessfully  assaulted.  Edward  was  then 
in  France,  but  on  hearing  of  this  and.  other  inroads  of  the 
Scots,  he  hsLStened  home;  and  in  January,  1356,  arrived 
before  Berwick,  which  he  soon  recovered.  Henry  de  Percy 
was  with  him,  and  also  witnessed  at  Roxburgh  a  few  days 
afterwards,  the  formal  surrender  by  Baliol  to  Edward  of  all 
his  rights  to  the  Scottish  throne.  Edward,  determined  to 
conquer  this  kingdom  and  bring  to  an  end  the  harassing 
Scottish  warfare,  marched  through  the  Lothians  and  burnt 
Haddington  and  Edinburgh  and  other  open  towns,  and  laid 
waste  the  country  around ;  but  distressed  for  want  of  provi- 
sions, he  was  compelled  to  retrace  his  steps,  while  the  Scots 
hung  in  his  rear  and  wreaked  a  fearful  vengeance  on  all 
stragglers  or  parties  that  came  within  their  power.  As  these 
devastations  occurred  about  Candlemas,  this  English  raid 
was  long  known  as  the  ^'  Burnt  Candlemas ;"  and  many  a 
smoking  village  in  Northumberland  afterwards  told  of  the 
bitter  revenge  of  the  Scots.  For  eleven  years  David  their 
king  had  been  a  captive.  Never  did  England  —  proud, 
powerful,  generous  England — appear  more  mean  than  in  her 
treatment  of  Scotland's  kings.  Hard  terms  were  wrung 
from  David;  he  was  released  in  November  1357,  on  condi- 
tion of  paying  to  Edward  one  hundred  thousand  marks ;  but 
although  a  part  of  this  large  sum  was  discharged,  so  exhausted 
was  the  nation  with  the  English  aggressions,  that  the  greater 
portion  was  never  paid. 

Henry  de  Percy  was  in  1859  made  governor  of  Berwick ; 
and  he  was  repeatedly  one  of  the  commissioners  for  guarding 
the  Northumberland  marches ;  in  1356,  and  again  in  1365, 
he  was  commanded  by  the  king  to  reside  on  his  own  lands 
on  the  marches,  for  the  better  defence  of  those  parts  against 
the  Scots. 

He  was  first  married  to  Mary  Plantagenet,  the  daughter 
of  the  earl  of  Lancaster,  who  died  on  the  1st  of  September, 
1362,  and  was  buried  in  Alnwick  Abbey.  ''Her  arms,  those 
of  England  with  a  label  of  five  points,  are  on  the  inner 

•  Rot  Scot,  I.,  p.  781. 

Digitized  by 



entrance  of  Alnwick  Castle."*  His  second  wife  was  Jane^ 
heir  of  John  de  Orby.  Henry  died  on  Ascension  Day,  1368^ 
and  was  buried  in  Alnwick  Abbey  by  the  side  of  his  first 
wife.  By  her  he  had  two  sons,  Henry  and  Thomas,  and  one 
daughter,  who  married  one  of  the  heirs  of  the  De  Yescys ; 
by  his  second  wife  he  left  one  daughter,  who  was  only  two 
years  old  when  he  died.  He  gave  to  Alnwick  Abbey  £100> 
and  '^frequently"  says  the  chronicle^  '^ bestowed  on  las  many 
other  kindnesses." 

Arms. — A  lion  rampant 

Supporters. — Two  herons  are  looking  from  the  shield.   They 
are  scarcely  true  supporters. 

To  the  time  of  this  lord,  we  may  attribute  the  construction 
of  the  hermitage  of  Warkworth,  one  of  the  most  interesting  of 
medieeval  antiquities,  and  over  which  the  charm  of  romance 
has  been  thrown  by  Bishop  Percy  in  his  beautiAil  ballad  of 
the  hermit  of  Warkworth. 

'*  There  scoop'd  within  the  aoKd  rock» 

Three  sacred  yanlts  he  shows ; 

The  chief  a  chapel,  neatly  arch'd, 

Oo  hranching  colamns  rose." 

Of  its  original  foundation  there  is  no  record;  but  the  style  of 
architecture  indicates  the  period  when  it  was  hewn  out.  The 
confessional  window,  the  moulding,  and  some  of  the  orna- 
ments belong  to  that  age  of  decorated  Qothic  which  prevailed 
somewhat  later  than  the  middle  of  the  fourteenth  century. 
Hartshorn,  who  according  to  his  theory  of  history  is  sometimes 
imaginative,  fancies  that  this  hermitage  was  founded  by 
Henry  Percy,  the  third  lord  of  Alnvrick,  in  memory  of  his 
wife  Mary  Plantagenet ;  but  of  this  there  is  neither  evidence 
nor  probability.  Mary  died  in  186^,  and  her  lord  in  1368 ; 
but  m  the  meantime  he  married  again,  and  had  a  son  and 
daughter.  The  Rev.  J.  W.  Dunn,  in  an  able  paper  on 
Warkworth,  remarks  that  this  Lord  Percy  "  does  not  seem 
to  have  lamented  his  loss  for  any  lengthened  period,  certainly 
not  long  enough  for  the  hewing  of  this  hermitage  out  of  a 
rock.''  It  seems  to  me  too,  a  £ital  objection  to  the  fancy, 
that  there  is  no  Percy  device  or  badge  sculptured  on  any 
part  of  the  hermitage.  Rather  with  Mr.  Dunn  would  we 
believe  in  the  tradition  embodied  in  the  poem : — *^  Let  that 

•  Long8tafie*s  Perey  Heraldsy,  p.  172. 

Digitized  by 



battered  figure  be  indeed  the  hermit  Bertram^  symbolizing, 
until  the  very  stones  shall  perish,  a  bootless  bene,  a  sorrow 
too  deep  for  tears — ^and  let  that  recumbent  effigy  be  indeed 
the  maid  of  Widdrington,  his  own  best  beloved,  whom  un- 
wittingly he  slew.'**  This  hermitage  may  afterwards  have 
been  served  by  one  of  those  hermits,  who  partly  lived  in  such 
sequestered  spots  engaged  in  religious  exercises,  and  partly 
wandered  about  the  country  collecting  alms  from  the  people. 
Respecting  this  hermitage  there  is,  however,  a  document 
of  much  later  date,  the  substance  of  which  I  give  here  that 
I  may  not  have  to  refer  to  it  again. 

^'Heniy  Percy,  the  sixth  earl,  in  1531,  in  consideration  of  the 
service  of  his  well  beloved  chaplen,  Sir  George  Lancastre,  hath 
done,  and  for  that  he  shall  have  in  his  daily  recommendation  and 
praiers  the  good  estate  of  all  such  noble  blode  and  other  person- 
ages as  be  now  levynge,  and  the  soules  of  such  noble  blode  as  be 
departed  to  the  mercy  of  GK>d  owte  of  this  present  lyfe,  whos 
names  are  oonteyned  and  wret<yn  in  a  table  upon  parchment  si^ed 
with  thande  of  me  the  said  erle — do  graunte  unto  the  said  Sir 
GteOTge,  myn  aimytage  bilded  in  a  rock  of  slone  within  my  parke 
of  Warkworth,  with  a  yerly  stipende  of  twenty  merka,  and  also 
the  occupation  of  one  little  grasground  of  myn  called  Oonygarthy 
nyeh  adjoynge  the  said  hfi^ytsige ;  the  garden  and  orteyarde 
belongyng  to  the  said  armytage ;  the  gate  and  pasture  of  twelf 
kye  and  a  bull,  with  their  calves  suking ;  and  two  young  horses 
goyng  and  beynff  within  my  said  parke  of  Warkworth  wyntep 
and  Bomer ;  one  draught  of  fish  every  Sondaie  in  the  yer,  to  be 
drawn  forenenst  the  said  armytage,  caQed  the  Tiynete  draught ; 
and  twenty  lods  of  fvrewode  to  be  taken  of  my  wodds,  called 

•  PraoeediBfi  of  the  BirwicksMn  If aturaUflts*  Clnb,  Y.,  p.  5& 

Digitized  by 



CASTLE,  TOWN,  AND  BAEONT,  FEOM  1297  TO  1368. 


Before  entering  on  the  long  and  eventful  history  of  the 
fourth  Baron  Percy,  we  may  pause  again,  to  look  at  the  state 
of  the  castle,  the  town,  and  the  barony  during  the  sway  of 
the  three  first  Percys. 

Time  and  the  assaults  of  enemies  had  reduced  the  great 
Norman  castle  of  the  Vescys  to  a  state  of  dilapidation ;  and 
the  neglect  of  Bishop  Bek  would  add  to  its  ruinous  condition. 
As  soon,  however,  as  the  first  Henry  Percy  obtained  posses- 
sion of  the  barony,  he  began  to  repair  and  restore  Alnwick 
Castle ;  but  in  a  style  more  magnificent  than  that  of  the  old 
stronghold.  The  best  portions  of  the  Norman  keep,  the 
ornate  zigzag  archway  and  tower,  and  several  parts  of  the 
surrounding  walls  were  retained ;  but  before  the  end  of  this 
period,  by  far  the  greater  portion  of  the  castle  was  entirely 
new.  Tlxe  keep  was  still  a  cluster  of  seven  round  towers, 
arranged  around  a  large  inner  court;  but  the  long  narrow 
windows  gave  place  to  others  of  a  somewhat  larger  size, 
either  with  a  pointed  arch,  or  with  straight  headings  and 
rounded  haunches.  Those  looking  into  the  court  were  of 
larger  size  still,  divided  by  mullions  and  ornamented  by 
flowing  tracery.  The  Percy  hall,  which  has  but  recently 
been  demolished,  was  there;  a  tower  and  a  curtain  waU 
divided  the  area  within  the  outer  walls,  into  an  inner  and 
outer  bailey ;  and  along  the  walls  of  the  outer  bailey  were 
buildings  for  lodging  the  garrison.    Within  the  inner  bailey. 

Digitized  by 



Stood  the  chapel.  The  gloomy  massive  barbican  and  most  of 
the  mural  towers  belong  to  this  period.  There  were  still 
two  defensive  ditches— one  round  the  keep,  and  the  other 
extending  from  the  east  side  of  the  outer  walls  and  along  the 
southern  side,  and  bending  northward  in  front  of  the  bar- 
bican. Figure  2  in  Plate  IV.,  is  a  plan  of  the  castle  as 
renovated  by  the  Percys.  There  seems,  at  this  time,  to  have 
been  another  bailey  outside  of  the  walls  of  the  castle  on  the 
west,  affording  more  space  for  military  exercises  than  the 
baileys  within  the  walls.  Baili%ate  and  part  of  Narrowgate 
now  occupy  this  space ;  but  the  buildings  there,  being  be- 
yond the  town  walls,  which  were  erected  in  the  fifteenth 
century,  it  is  probable  that  the  whole  area  was  then  open 
grcfund.  Bailiffgate  is  commonly  pronounced  BeUeygate; 
and  the  old  name  Baileygate — the  street  of  the  bailey — 
corroborates  the  view  of  its  having  been  an  outer  bailey  of 
the  castle.  Probably  too.  Batten  Roto  or  Ratten  Raw,  a 
a  little  to  the  westward,  was  the  place  of  exercise  for  the 
hobelars  or  border  cavalry,  which  garrisoned  the  castle. 

Though  these  great  works  were  commenced  by  the  first 
Henry  Percy,  his  life  was  too  short  for  their  completion ;  his 
son,  the  second  Henry  Percy,  was  the  chief  builder ;  of  him 
the  chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey  says — *^  he  in  his  own  time 
most  excellently  repaired  the  castle  of  Alnwick."  Two  octa- 
gon towers,  forming  the  entrance  into  the  keep,  are  doubtless 
his  work ;  for  one  of  the  twelve  shields  of  armorial  bearings, 
which  ornament  the  upper  part  of  these  towers,  is  charged 
with  the  arms  of  Clifford,  to  which  family  his  wife  Imania 
belonged,  she  being  the  daughter  of  Bobert  Lord  Clifford — 
Plate  v.,  fig.  2.  Begun  about  the  year  1310,  the  restor- 
ations were  finished  by  about  1350.  A  noble  picturesque 
building  was  now  this  castle,  combining  the  characters  of  a 
palace  with  those  of  a  fortress ;  it  was  a  fitting  residence  for 
the  greatest  of  northern  barons,  who  was  here  attended  by 
his  numerous  military  vassals,  ready  at  their  lord's  commands 
to  man  the  walls  and  repulse  assailants,  or  to  sally  forth  fully 
equipped,  as  men-at-arms  or  archers,  to  meet  an  enemy  in 
the  open  field.  So  strong  now  was  this  castle,  with  its  lofly 
towers  and  massive  walls,  strengthened  by  every  defence 
which  engineering  could  then  devise,  that,  during  this  period, 
it  was  never  conquered.  The  art  of  defence,  indeed,  was 
then  greatly  superior  to  that  of  attack. 

In  the  time  of  war,  the  castle  was  filled  with  soldiers 
for  the  defence  of  the  district;   it  was  the  great  military 

Digitized  by 



Stronghold  on  the  English  borders.  When  John  de  Felton 
was  constable^  in  1315>  it  was  garrisoned  by  three  thousand 
and  thirty-seven  men-at-arms  and  forty  hobelars  —  light 
armed  cavalry  mounted  on  small  ambling  horses.  During 
the  year^  he  received  for  farms,  rents,  pleas^  and  perquisites  of 
the  courts  pertaining  to  Alnwick  Castle,  £326  10s.  9d.  The 
total  sum  paid  to  the  garrison  for  three  hundred  and  sixty- 
one  days  was  £1137  3s.;  and  the  cost  of  victualling,  of 
munitions,  and  of  repairs,  was  £1252  Os.  Id.  The  fee  of  the 
constable  was  one  hundred  marks ;  every  man-at-arms  was 
paid  twelvepence  per  day,  and  every  hobelar  sixpence.  Com- 
pared with  the  present  pay  of  soldiers,  these  are  large  sums. 
In  the  parliament  held  at  Lincoln,  in  1316,  there  was  granted 
to  the  king  an  able  foot  soldier  out  of  every  village  or  hamlet^ 
and  the  pay  for  each  man  was  fixed  at  a  groat  a  day ;  even 
this  was  about  double  the  wages  of  a  skilled  mechanic. 
When  Heary  de  Percy  was,  in  1322,  commanded  by  writ 
to  act  under  the  earl  of  Athol  with  all  his  power,  he  was 
ordered  to  leave  a  sufficient  garrison  in  Alnwick  Castle.* 

Even  in  time  of  peace,  many  military  retainers  would  be 
attendant  on  the  baron  in  this  castle — ^hunting  with  him  in 
his  forests  and  dining  with  him  in  his  hall,  where  feasting 
and  revelry  would  be  enlivened  by  the  minstrel's  song. 
Jousting  and  military  exercises  in  the  baileys  would  form 
no  little  part  of  the  business,  if  not  the  pleasure  of  these 
warriors.  In  dignity  and  power,  the  baron  was  like  a  king 
within  his  northern  demesne,  for  here  too,  he  held  his  courts, 
dispensing  justice  and  exercising  power,  even  over  the  lives 
of  such  malefactors  as  were  caught  committing  crime  within 
the  barony.  Not  far  from  a  baronial  castle — usually  about  a 
mile — ^was  the  place  of  capital  punishment ;  and  hence  we 
find  near  to  such  strongholds,  the  galhw-hill  or  the  giiUow^ 
law,  or  the  gallows-field.  On  the  Lane  Head  Farm,  about  a 
mile  northward  of  Alnwick  Castle,  there  is  still  a  gallows- 
field,  probably  the  place  where  capital  punishments  were 
inflicted  by  the  baron  of  Alnwick. 

Inquisitions  made  in  the  reigns  of  Edward  II.  and  Edward 
III.  furnish  information  respecting  the  barony  of  Alnwick  at 
this  period ;  but  it  would  be  tedious  to  give  all  of  these  ;  I 
shall  therefore  present  a  full  digest  of  one  made  in  the  42nd 
of  Edward  III.,  as  far  as  relates  to  Northumberland;  and 
as  this,  the  most  important  document  of  the  kind,  has  not 

•  Becords  ChroD.  Abf.,  IT.»  p.  32S. 

Digitized  by 



yet  been  printed,  the  original  will  appear  in  the  appendix ; 
but  here  I  shall  generally  give  the  modem  spelling  of  places. 

This  inquisition  was  made  at  Newcastle  in  1368,  by  John  de 
Bcotherskelf,  escheator,  before  Johh  de  Walyngton,  Eobert  de 
Louther,  Gtilbert  Vans,  William  de  Bodum,  Eichcu*d  de  Cramling- 
ton,  Bobert  de  Middelton,  Eichard  de  Glanton»  John  Laweson, 
Bobert  de  Eland,  John  Forester  de  Corbrig,  William  Ayriks, 
and  Robert  Hudespeth,  jurors,  who  found  that  Henry  de  rercy, 
the  peer,  held  in  his  own  demesne  as  of  fee  tail — the  castle  and 
manor  of  Alnwick,  with  the  towns  and  other  things  under- 
written pertaining  to  the  said  castle  and  manor  £rom  ancient 
time :  viz.,  the  boroughs  of  Alnwick  and  Alnmouth,  and  the 
towns  of  Alnwick  and  jLesburj,  Gh-eat  Houghton,  Chatton,  Aln- 
ham,  and  a  pasture  called  Swinlees.  These  he  held  by  homage 
and  fidelity  and  by  service  of  twelve  knights'  fees,  as  parcel  of 
the  barony  of  Alnwick,  and  also  by  service  of  sixty  shillings 
yearly,  paid  to  the  king's  exchequer.  The  following  are  the 
particulars  of  this  property  and  their  respective  values  yearly : — 
Alnwick  Castle  and  manor  are  of  no  value  beyond  repairs ;  a 
close  below  the  castle  is  worth  in  herbage,  two  shillings ;  one 
hundred  and  forty-four  acres  of  demesne  lands  render  sevenpence 
per  acre ;  ten  acres  of  demesne  meadow,  twelvepence  per  acre ; 
the  free  tenants  of  Alnwick,  who  hold  severally  certain  Durgages 
and  other  tenements  there,  render  £11  6s.  8d.,  and  other  free 
tenants  three  shillings  and  eiehtpence  for  every  service,  at  the 
feast  of  St.  Outhbert,  in  March ;  a  certain  free  tenant  renders 
sixpence  at  the  feast  of  the  Lord's  Nativity ;  and  another  free 
tenant  sixpence  on  the  15th  of  July;  four  bondagia  and  a  haU^ 
sixty  shillings ;  two  water  mills,  £14,  of  which  the  prior  and 
brethren  of  Holn  Abbey  are  seized  of  the  yearly  rent  of 
£13  6s.  8d.,  granted  to  them  by  a  former  lord  of  Alnwick; 
Cawle^e  Park  is  worth  six  shillings  and  eightpence,  and  the 
West  Bark,  twenty  shillings,  beyond  the  maintenance  of  the 
wild  animals ;  the  herbage  of  a  third  park  Holn,  with  the  pas- 
ture of  "He-Forthlawe"  is  worth  forty  shillings;  the  perquisites 
of  the  Halmote  of  Alnwick  are  worth  six  slullings  and  eight- 
pence, and  the  profits  of  the  courts  of  the  borough  of  Ainwick, 
six  shillings ;  the  mills  of  North  Charlton  render  one  hundred 
shilling  as  parcel  of  Alnwick ;  the  profits  of  tolls  and  divers 
other  things  sold  at  the  yearly  fkir  and  at  the  markets  of  Alnwick 
held  on  Saturday,  are  worth  sixteen  shillings;  at  Den  wick,  which 
is  parcel  of  Alnwick,  seventy-six  acres  of  land  in  the  hands  of 
tenants  at  will,  render  twenty-five  shillings  and  fourpence,  at 
the  rate  of  fourpence  per  acre,  and  nineteen  and  a  half  Dondagia 
there  are  in  the  hands  of  tenants,  each  having  one  dwelling  house 
and  twenty-four  acres  of  land  and  of  meadow — ten  of  them  render 
thirteen  shilHngs  and  fourpence  each,  and  nine  and  a  half,  six 
and  eightpence  each;    at  l)enwick  also,  three  ootagia  render 


Digitized  by 




three  duUings  eacliy  and  one  pasture  oontainxng  three  acres 
renders  three  shillings;  at  Alnmouth,  a  rent  called  Burghmale 
of  £4  3s.  9d.  is  paid  at  the  feast  of  Pentecost  and  Saint  Martin ; 
other  free  tenants  there,  pay  nineteen  shillings  and  fonrpence  at 
the  same  terms;  a  fishery  there  in  the  AIn  renders  two  shillings; 
the  perquisites  of  the  courts  at  Alnmonth  are  worth  three  shillings 
and  fourpence,  and  the  toll  there  renders  two  shillings. 

The  manor  and  town  of  Lesbnry,  as  parcel  of  Alnwick,  render 
twelvepence  in  herbage ;  two  hundred  and  fiye  and  a  half  acres 
in  demesne,  sixpence  per  acre;  twenty-two  acres  of  pasture, 
twelvepence  per  acre ;  a  water  mill  yields  £10 ;  there  are  twenty 
Ibondagia,  sixteen  of  which  render  thirteen  shillings  and  four- 
pence  eadi,  and  four  lie  xmcultiyated,  the  herbage  rendering  six 
shillings  and  eightpence;  eleren  cotmen  pay  twenty-two  shillings; 
one  free  tenant  two  shillings ;  one  dwelling  house  and  one  hun- 
dred and  twenty  acres  of  land  yield  twelve  shillings ;  and  the 
perquisites  of  the  Halmote  are  worth  five  shillings* 

The  manor  and  town  of  Great  Houghton,  which  are  ruined  and 
wasted,  render  for  herbage  three  shillings;  two  hundred  and 
forty  acres  of  demesne  land  ninepence  per  acre,  and  twenty-four 
acres  of  meadow  twelvepence  per  acre ;  of  two  water  mills,  the 
one  is  ruined,  and  the  other  renders  one  hundred  shillings;  there 
are  twenty-eight  bondagia,  eighteen  of  which  are  in  the  hands  of 
tenants  at  wiU,  each  rendering  sixteen  shillings ;  the  other  ten, 
desolate  and  lying  waste,  are  now  in  the  hands  of  tenants 
at  will,  each  rendering  six  shillings  and  eightpence ;  there  are 
twenty-nine  cotagia,  eighteen  of  which  are  in  the  hands  of  ten- 
ants at  will,  each  rendering  twentypence ;  the  other  eleven,  which 
lie  waste,  render  in  herbage  eleven  shillings ;  the  perquisites  of 
the  Halmote  are  worth  three  shillings  and  fourpence. 

In  the  town  of  Chatton,  parcel  of  Alnwick,  is  a  manor  ruined, 
the  herbage  of  which  renders  three  shillings  and  fourpence;  and 
one  hundred  and  eighty  acres  of  demesne  land  render  sixpence 
per  acre;  there  are  twenty-seven  bondagia,  eighteen  of  which 
are  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will,  each  rendering  thirteen  shil- 
lings and  fourpence,  the  other  nine  are  desolated  and  lying  waste, 
and  for  herbage  each  renders  three  shillings  and  fourpence; 
thirteen  cotagia  render  each  twelvepence ;  one  water  mill  £8,  of 
which  £4  being  paid  to  the  '* renowned  chapel"  at  Chatton, 
there  remains  to  the  lord  £4 ;  a  certcdn  several  pasture  called 
"  Musgrave  Schell"  renders  for  herbage  sixty  shillings ;  a  park 
with  inld  animals  called  "Kelsowe  "  is  of  no  value  beyond  the 
maintenance  of  the  wild  animals ;  free  tenants  render  £6  148. ; 
and  the  perquisites  of  the  Halmotes  are  worth  four  shillings. 

The  town  of  Alnham  he  held  in  his  own  demesne ;  and  we  site 
of  the  manor  with  a  garden  and  two  acres  of  meadow  render  in 
herbage  six  shillings ;  one  hundred  and  eighty  acres  of  demesne 
land  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will,  render  sixpence  per  acre, 

Digitized  by 




and  fifteen  acres  of  demesne  meadow  twelvepenoe  per  acre;  of 
eighteen  bonda^ia,  twelve  are  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  wil^ 
each  yielding  thirteen  shillings  and  fourpenoe,  the  other  six  are 
wasted  and  render  in  herbage  twelve  shillings;  twelve  eotagia 
in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will  render  twenty-four  shillings,  and 
six,  which  are  wasted,  render  in  herbage  twelve  shillings;  one 
water  mill  renders  forty-three  shillings  and  fourpen.ce ;  and  free 
tenants  tweniy-four  shillings  and  threepence. 

A  pasture  called  ''  Swyleyschels,"  parcel  of  the  manor  of  Aln* 
'wick,  renders  in  herbage  thirty  shillings. 

The  following  vills  and  manors  held  by  Heniy  of  the  king 
en  capitej  as  pertaining  to  the  castle  and  manor  of  Alnwick,  were 
granted  to  other  poisons  on  feudal  conditions. 



Shilbottle,  Haxon,  Gay- 
MKoee,  ScnningtODy  and 
tbe  fifteenth  part  of  the 
hamlet  of  Broxfield 

Doddington  and  Weetwood 


East  Che  viagton  aad  Mor-  j 
wick  I 

BnintoD,     Prettan,  and  \ 

Screnwood  f 

NewtoD-on-the-Sea  and ) 

YerdhiU  (Earl)  / 


Budle  and  Spindleston 

Hawkhill  and  Ewart 


North  Charleton 

Lttcker  and  Soath  Charlton 




Fowherry  and  Coldmartin 

Hamlet  of  Bartewell(Hob.  \ 
herlaw)  / 

One  tenth  of  Swynhoe 


Chillingham,  Manor  and\ 
Castle  of  / 




Robert  de  Hilton 


Sir  Thomas  Grey 



Jobn  de  Coupland 



John,  son  and  heir  o{\ 

Marmaduke  de  Lumley,  > 



and  David  de  Grey        J 

Sir  John  de  Stryvelyne 



John  de  Stry?clyne 


20  marks 

David  de  Grey 



William  de  Balden  «nd\ 
William  de  Colville       j 



Thomas  de  Gray 



A  lie.  Chartres 



David  de  Lokre 





William  de  Rodum 



Robert  de  Umfravyle 


20  marks 

Sir  Thomas  de  Gray 

Nicholus  Martoks 

William  del  Hall 



John,  son  of  David  de 

William  de  Follehery 



Richard  Tempest 



Alanns  de  Slrother 



John  de  Sokpeth 



Walter  de  Swynhoweand  1 
Alaonus  de  Heton          j 



Gido  Tias 



Alanus  de  Heton 



Robert  de  Tnghale 



s.  d. 
29  4 

19  4 
6  8 

20  0 

17  9 

18  4 
6  8 

13  4 

17  9 
6  8 
6  8 
13  4 
13  4 
13  4 

13  4 

13  4 
6  8 
5  21 


2  0 

5  0 

13  4 

13  4 

Digitized  by 



The  whole  of  these  sub-feudatories  held  their  estates  by  homage 
and  fidelity  to  the  chief  baron,  by  service  of  certain  proportions 
of  knights'  fees  adcording  to  the  extent  of  the  property,  by  sitit 
of  court  at  Alnwick  held  from  three  weeks  to  tiiree  weeks,  and 
by  payment  on  the  15th  of  July,  of  a  sum  for  the  ward  or  defence 
of  Alnwick  Castle.  These  particulars  are  given  in  the  preceding 
table,  which  shews  also  the  value  of  each  estate,  and  ^e  names 
of  the  owners  according  to  the  original  spelling. 

Henry  also  received  a  rent  of  £8  out  of  the  manor  of  Beanley,* 
which  was  in  the  hands  of  free  tenants ;  sixty-eight  shillings  and 
eightpence  out  of  the  manor  of  South  Middleton  '<  under  Ghevyot 
in  Glendale,"  also  by  the  hands  of  tenants ;  he  had  five  ox^angs 
of  land  in  the  town  of  Wooler,  which  were  in  the  hands  of  ten- 
ants at  will,  each  oxgang  paying  ten  shillings  yearly. 

Henry  also  held  of  the  king  in  chief  Hie  c€istle  and  manor  of 
Warkworth,  with  the  vills  of  Birling,  Acklington,  Hothbury, 
Newton,  Thropton,  and  Snitter,  pertaining  to  this  manor,  by 
service  of  two  knights'  fees;  the  castle  and  manor  are  of  no 
yearly  value  beyond  repairs,  but  the  herbage  of  the  mote  of  the 
castle  renders  twelvepence;  three  hundred  and  three  acres  of 
land  sixpence  per  acre;  and  a  "several  pasture  called  Wolemere" 
thirteen  shillings  and  fburpence ;  rents  of  divers  burgages  in  the 
town  produce  one  hundrea  and  one  shillings ;  out  of  the  vill  of 
High^uston  {OverboHlstoti)  a  rent  of  fifty  shillings  was  payable, 
and  another  rent  of  forty  slullings  out  of  the  vills  of  High  Buston 
and  Togston;  a  water  mill  renders  £10;  and  a  fishery  in  the 
Coquet  is  worth  £13  6s.  8d. ;  the  herbage  of  a  wood  called  Sun- 
derland renders  five  shillings ;  and  the  perquisites  of  the  court 
there  are  worth  six  shillings  and  eightpence.  At  Birling,  ten 
bondagia  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  wlU,  render  thirteen  shillings 
and  fouipence  each.  At  Acklington,  the  site  of  a  manor  renders 
four  shillings ;  and  seventy  acres  of  land  in  the  hands  of  tenants 
at  will  sixpence  per  acre ;  there  are  twenty-six  bondagia  in  the 
hands  of  tenants  at  will,  each  rendering  thirteen  shiUings  and 
fourpence,  but  nine  others  lying  waste  render  in  herbage  twenty 
shiUmgs ;  a  wind  mill  thirty  shillings ;  the  herbage  of  a  park 
beyond  maintaining  the  wild  animals  is  worth  thirteen  shillings 
and  fourpence ;  ancT  the  perquisites  of  thef  Halmote  court  three 
shillings  and  fourpence.  At  Bothbury,  the  site  of  a  dwelling 
house  renders  in  herbage  three  shillings  and  fourpence;  one 
hundred  and  forty-nine  acres  of  land  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at 
will  render  tenpence  per  acre,  and  ten  acres  of  meadow  with  a 
pasture  fifty-one  shillings  and  ninepence ;  three  water  mills  with 
tolls  and  firrnage  of  one  bakehouse  £8  6s.  8d. ;  twenty  shealings 
in  tiie  forest  of  Bothbury  with  herbage  £21 ;  rents  of  divers 

*  This  bdng  held  on  a  great  sergeantry  tenure,  did  not  render  the  ordinaiy 
mtUtarj  service. 

Digitized  by 


CASTtfi^  TOWN,  ANB  BARONY.  141 

burgages  anunmt  to  £4  Os.  12d. ;  an  annual  rent  called  FenailTer 
to  thirteen  shillingB ;  the  peiqnisites  of  the  ooort  are  worth  nine 
BhillingB.  At  Le  Newton,  eight  bondagia  in  the  hands  of  ten- 
ants at  will  render  twelrepence  per  acre ;  land  called  Storland 
thirteen  shillings  and  fourpence ;  two  ootagia  six  shillings;  and 
a  fnUing  mill  thirty  shillings ;  At  Thropton,  ninety-four  acres  of 
land  and  sixteen  acres  of  meadow  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will 
render  twelvepence  per  acre ;  eight  bondagia  in  the  hands  of 
tenants  at  will  forty-two  shillings  and  eightpence,  and  work  in 
autumn  due  by  these  bondmen  to  the  lord  renders  eleven  shillings ; 
another  bondagium  renders  eightpence,  and  there  are  three  cota- 
gia,  each  of  wmch  renders  three  abiUings  and  fivepence  farthing, 
three  parts  of  one  cotagium  twelvepence,  and  the  tenants  of  the 
said  cotagia  by  divers  works  four  shilling  and  sixpence.  Near 
to  Snitter,  there  are  fifty-three  acres  of  land  in  the  hands  of 
tenants  at  will  rendering  twelvepence  per  acre ;  a  pasture  called 
Bradmedowe  twenty-one  shillings;  eighteen  bondi^g;ia  render 
sevenfy-four  shillings,  and  by  work  twenty  shillings;  there  is 
also  a  rent  in  the  same  place  of  six  shilHngs;  three  cotagia 
render  three  shillings  and  fivepence  fiirthing  each,  and  by  work 
eighteenpence ;  a  piece  of  land  called  Thirhmd  renders  six  shil- 
liiqzB  and  eightpence. 

Henry  held  of  the  king  in  chief  the  burg  of  Oorbridge,  on  a 
&rm  rent  of  £40  paid  to  ^e  king's  exchequer,  with  increment  of 
the  same,  by  service  of  ten  shillings  to  the  king,  by  the  hands  of 
the  sheriff  of  the  county ;  there  are  in  the  same  place  two  hun- 
dred and  fifty-three  acres  of  land  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will 
rendering  fourteenpence  per  acre ;  one  manor  renders  nothing 
beyond  repairs ;  a  piece  of  land  called  Waldfleis,  with  forty  acres 
of  meadow  renders  threepence  per  acre;  rents  of  divers  bur- 
gages amotmt  to  £4;  the  herbage  of  a  wood  called  Lynnels 
renders  forty-two  shillings  and  twopence ;  a  piece  of  land  called 
Fresdestretland,  £6  4s.  Od. ;  the  Tolbothe  six  shillings  and  eight- 
pence  ;  a  waste  called  Aldhall  in  herbage  twelve  shillings ;  the 
rent  of  the  miU  of  Develston  is  ten  sMllings ;  two  water  mills 
with  toll  and  one  bakehouse  render  £18 ;  and  the  perquisites  of 
the  court  are  worth  6s.  8d. 

He  held  also  of  the  king  in  chief  the  manor  of  Newbum  by 
service  of  one  knight's  fee  as  parcel  of  the  manor  of  Warkworth; 
a  capital  messuage  with  a  dove-cote  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at 
will  renders  twenty-two  shillings ;  two  carucates  of  lands  in  the 
hands  of  tenants  at  will  £10 ;  forty  acres  of  meadow  in  the  hands 
of  tenants  at  will,  with  hearth  silver  {focagium)  £9;  twenty-four 
husbandlands  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will  £8  ;  eighteen  cota- 
gia in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will  eighteen  shillings ;  and  one 
cotagium  ruined  renders  nothing;  two  water  mills  in  the  hands  of 
tenants  at  will,  with  a  malt-house  render  ten  marks;  one  fisheiy  in 
the  TjEL<d  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will  £10;  a  coal  mine  in  the 

Digitized  by 



hands  of  tenants  at  will  forty  sbilUngg;  the  hamlet  Botlawe 
in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will  forty  shillings,  and  Deflawe  in 
herbage  fourteen  shillings ;  in  the  hajnlet  Wiolbottle  are  sixteen 
husbandlands  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will  rendering  £7>  and 
three  parts  of  one  husbandland  in  the  hands  of  tenants  at  will 
six  shillings  and  eightpence;  a  rent  called  Flasolver  of  eighteen- 
pence  is  collected  yearly ;  and  a  free  iaam  of  fifteen  shillings  and 
seyenpence  comes  out  of  the  vill  of  Throcklaw. 

Pertaining  to  the  castle  and  manor  of  Alnwick  are  the  advow- 
sons  of  the  aobey  of  Alnwick,  the  temporalitieB  of  which  are  worth 
d£lO;  of  the  house  of  '^Holne,"  worth  twenty  marcs;  of  the 
chapel  of  Mary  of  Warkworth,  worth  forty  shillings;  of  the 
chapel  of  Ohatton,  worth  sixty  shillings. 

£    B.  d. 
The  sum  of  the  worth  of  the  manor  and  castle  of 

Alnwick  with  the  members  yearly  is       .        .     176  11     5J 
The  sum  of  the  worth  of  the  manors  of  Warkworth 

and  Bothbuiy  with  the  members  yearly  is      .     158    5     6)- 
The  sum  of  the  demesne  of  Gorbridge  yearly  is      .      49  14    8 
The  sum  of  the  manor  of  Newbum  with  the  mem- 
bers yearly  is  59    0  13 

Sum  total  £450  3s.  1^ 

Comparing  this  inquisition  with  that  made  nearly  seventy 
years  before,  in  1289,  at  the  close  of  the  De  Vescy  period, 
we  must  be  struck  with  the  depreciation  in  the  value  of  the 
estate.  Taking  that  portion  which  had  not  been  granted  to 
sub-feudatories,  but  which  was  partly  retained  in  the  hands  of 
the  baron,  partly  granted  to  free  tenants,  and  partly  granted  on 
servile  conditions,  we  find  the  change  very  great.  The  value 
in  1289  was  £475  9s.  6Jd.;  but  in  1368  only  £180  3s.  lid. 
Land  had  not  much  altered  in  value ;  arable  land  was  six- 
pence per  acre  annually  in  the  last  period,  in  the  latter  seven- 
pence  ;  meadow  land  in  the  first  period  was  fifteenpence  per 
acre,  in  the  latter  twelvepence.  We  cannot  compare  all  the 
particulars,  for  the  details  are  not  given  in  the  earlier  in- 
quisition ;  but  bondagia  in  the  first  period  were  twenty-six 
shillings  and  eightpence,  and  in  the  last  thirteen  shillings 
and  fourpence  yearly.  Mills  had  not  much  depreciated ;  the 
mills  at  North  Charlton  yielded  £6  in  1289,  and  £5  in  1368. 
The  falling  off  must  have  been  chiefly  in  the  rental  of  lands 
let  to  tenants.  Taking  the  gross  sums,  Alnwick  Manor  in 
the  first  period  is  valued  at  £122  Os.  3|d.,  but  in  the  latter 
at  £52  16s.  8d. ;  Chatton,  at  £68  16s.  l^d.  in  the  former, 
and  £85  2s.  4d.  in  the  latter;  Alnmouth  reaches  £30  in 
the  former/ and  only  £5  10s.  5d.  in  the  latter;  Lesbury, 

Digitized  by 



£82  14s.  8d.  in  the  fonner  and  £83  Os.  lid.  in  the  latter; 
Longhoughton,  £98  Ts.  4id.  in  the  former,  and  £84  7s.  Od. 
in  the  latter;  and  Alnham  £19  Ss.  7d.  in  the  former,  and 
£51 7s.  6d.  in  the  latter  period.  The  value  also  of  the  estates 
of  the  sub-feudatories  had  diminished.  Chillingham  was 
valued  in  1368  at  £20,  but  in  1289  at  £40;  Horton,  which 
was  £40  in  1289,  was  only  valued  at  £10  in  1368;  and  it  is 
similar  with  other  estates.  But  these  relative  sums  do  not 
fully  give  the  amount  of  depreciation ;  for  betwen  the  two 
periods,  the  English  pound  had  been  reduced  in  weight,  so 
that  while  the  pound  in  1300  was  equal  to  2*871  of  the 
present  pound  sterling,  it  was  only  equal  to  2*353  in  1353^ 
shewing  a  diminution  in  weight  of  twenty  per  cent.  Money 
at  the  former  period  was  equivalent  to  above  twenty-five 
times  the  present  value,  but  in  1350  it  was  reduced  to  less 
than  twenty  times ;  so  that  in  1289  the  manor  of  Alnwick 
was  worth  £11,886  18s.  6|d.,  but  in  1362  it  was  worth 
only  £3^663  48.  8d.,  or  less  than  one  third.  I  know  not 
how  to  account  for  this  change ;  possibly  the  incessant  war, 
which  raged  in  the  district  during  this  interval,  may  have 
desolated  it,  and  rendered  the  produce  of  industry  uncertain 
and  of  little  value.  The  great  pestilence,  which  destroyed 
from  one  third  to  one  half  of  the  population,  may  have  left 
many  lands  untilled  and  many  herds  untended. 

Large  rents,  it  will  be  observed,  were  derived  from  mills ; 
for  at  this  period  and  long  afterwards,  barons  monopolised 
the  trade  of  millers.  In  the  olden  time,  querns  or  hand  mills 
formed  of  two  stones,  which  could  be  worked  by  one  or  two 
persons,  were  in  general  use,  so  that  each  householder  ground 
his  com  within  his  own  dwelling ;  but  when  barons  built 
either  water  or  wind  mills  (of  both  of  which  we  have  ex- 
amples), all  the  inhabitants  of  the  barony  were  compelled  to 
take  their  com  to  the  lord's  mill  and  to  pay  a  multure  or 
toll  for  its  use.  People,  however,  still  persisted  in  grinding 
com  with  their  own  hand  mills ;  and  therefore,  these  arbi- 
trary lords  sent  agents  around  the  barony  to  destroy  the 
querns;  the  upper  stone,  being  thinner,  was  usually  broken, 
80  that  though  many  of  these  primitive  mills  have  been  dis- 
covered in  this  district,  it  is  rare  to  find  a  perfect  upper 
quern  stone.*  This  monopoly  was  profitable  to  the  lord,  but 
oppressive  to  the  people.    Barons  too,  monopolised  the  trade 

*  It  was  different  in  London,  where  it  was  ordained  ''  that  every  one  who  uses 
two  hushels  of  com  per  week,  shall  have  a  hand  mill  in  his  house."  Liber 
AOmt,  p.  691. 

Digitized  by 



of  baker ;  they  built  ovens^  in  which  people  were  compelled 
to  bake  their  breads  and  pay  fumage  or  toll  for  their  use. 
The  value  of  one  water  mill  with  the  fumage  of  one  bake^ 
house  in  Bothbury  amounted  to  £8  Gs.  8d.  The  manorial 
bakehouse  of  Alnwick  was  situated  between  Bondgate  Street 
and  the  north  side  of  the  Market. 

Other  peculiar  feudal  charges  appear  in  this  inquisition. 
Fensilver  was  paid  at  Rothbury;  both  its  origin  and 
object  are  doubtful ;  by  some  it  has  been  considered  as  a 
remnant  of  head-pence,  which  was  formerly  collected  by  the 
sheriff;  it  seems,  however,  to  have  been  a  baronial  imposition 
and  not  a  national  tax ;  probably  a  payment  to  the  lord  in 
lieu  of  personal  service  against  the  Scots,  and  hence  called 
fen  or  fence  silver.  Focagium  or  hearth  silver,  paid  at  Wark- 
worth,  was  a  tribute  for  fire,  the  object  and  origin  of  which 
are  also  obscure.  Castle  Ward  was  chargeable  on  military 
tenants,  who  were  bound  to  defend  the  stronghold  of  their 
lord.  Every  tenant  owing  this  service  to  the  castle  of  New- 
castle, was  originally  obliged  to  send  for  its  defence  one  man 
for  each  knight's  fee  held  by  him.  But  afler  a  while,  personal 
service  was  commuted  into  a  money  payment,  which  in  the 
case  of  Alnwick  Castle  ranged  from  two  shillings  to  twenty- 
nine  shillings  and  fourpence  yearly;  the  lowest  being  for 
Swinhoe,  and  the  highest  for  Sbilbottle.  This  feudal  service 
was  extinguished  in  the  reign  of  Charles  II.  Though  bond 
labour  does  not  appear  at  Alnwick,  it  was  still  performed  at 
Rothbury,  where  eight  bondmen  and  three  cotmen  worked 
for  the  lord  in  autumn;  and  their  labour  was  valued  at 
fifteen  shillings  and  sixpence  yearly. 

The  question  whether  Alnwick  ever  sent  members  to  par- 
liament may  be  considered  here ;  for  although  representative 
parliaments  were  summoned  in  1264,  in  the  49th  of  Henry 
III.,  through  the  influence  of  Simon  de  Montford,  yet  parlia- 
mentary representation  did  not  become  an  established  fact 
till  the  time  of  Edward  I.  Repeatedly  has  it  been  said  that 
Alnwick  was  summoned  to  send  members;  and  Willis  Brown 
has  been  quoted  as  authority  for  the  assertion,  but  he  makes 
no  such  statement ;  he  merely  includes  Alnwick  along  with 
Alnmouth,  Harbottle,  and  Wammouth,  in  a  list  of  boroughs, 
which  were  never  summoned  to  send  members.  That  Aln- 
wick, which  at  this  period  was  greatly  more  important  than 
many  other  places  which  enjoyed  representation,  should  have 
been  passed  by,  appears  strange  enough ;  but  individual 
towns  were  not  summoned  by  royal  authority;  the  writs  sent 

Digitized  by 



to  sheri^b  in  the  23rd  of  Edward  I.  directs  them  ^'  to  cause 
deputies  to  be  elected  to  a  general  council  from  every  city, 
borough,  and  trading  town."  Sheriffs  therefore  determined 
what  towns  should  exercise  the  electoral  privilege.  The 
sheriff  of  Wiltshire,  in  the  12th  of  Edward  III.,  endorsed 
the  return  of  two  members  for  Salisbury  with  these  words — 
"  there  are  no  other  cities  or  boroughs  within  my  bailiwick," 
although  eight  other  towns  had  in  previous  years  sent  mem- 
bers to  parliament.  In  the  1st  of  Edward  III.,  the  sheriff  of 
Northumberland  returned  to  the  writ  of  summons,  that  they 
were  too  much  ravaged  to  send  any  members  to  parliament ; 
and  in  the  6th  of  Edward  III.,  that  all  the  knights  were  not 
sufficient  to  protect  the  country.* 

Towns  frequently  were  desirous  of  escaping  the  expensive 
distinction  of  sending  members  to  parliament ;  for  they  had 
to  pay  their  deputies  not  only  travelling  expenses,  but  two 
shillings  per  day  wages,  equivalent  to  at  least  forty  shillings  of 
our  money.  Through  such  causes  Alnwick  may  have  been 
excluded  in  early  times  from  taking  part  in  representative 

Neither  general  history  nor  the  public  records  yield  much 
information  of  the  state  of  the  town  at  this  period.  The 
achievements  of  kings,  even  their  itineraries,  the  march  of 
armies,  and  the  deeds  of  great  barons  are  abundantly  told, 
but  it  is  only  incidentally  that  we  catch  a  view  of  the  condi- 
tion, the  character,  and  the  progress  of  the  great  body  of  the 

In  the  early  part  of  this  period  the  district  appears  to  have 
been  in  a  most  wretched  condition.  The  battle  of  Bannock- 
bum  turned  the  tide  of  war  against  England;  and  the 
destructive  waves  which  had  swept  over  Scotland  surged 
back  against  the  English  border.  Robert  Bruce  in  1315, 
ravaged  the  open  coimtry  as  &r  as  Carlisle ;  and  in  the 
following  year,  the  Scots  penetrated  as  far  as  Richmond,  and 
then  directing  their  course  westward,  wasted  the  country 
sixty  miles  around  and  carried  off  many  prisoners.  Scarcity 
and  Amine  followed  those  ravages ;  wheat  rose  to  the  price 

*  John  de  Vallibafl  and  Roger  Corbet  were  retnmed  u  Icnigbta  for  Korthum- 
berland,  on  the  5th  of  April,  1306;  bat  their  residence  bang  required  in  the 
ooonty  on  account  of  the  war,  John  de  Budden  and  William  de  Devon  appeared 
in  tfa^  place ;  on  the  8rd  of  November,  of  the  same  year,  John  de  Yallibus  and 
Bichard  de  Horseleye  were  returned  knights  for  the  county.  —  Parliamentary 
Beeordiy  I.,  pp.  172  and  187. 


Digitized  by 



of  sixty  shillings  per  quarter^  about  eight  timea  its  averagjer 
price ;  and  the  Northmnbrians  were  compelled,  by  want,  to 
live  on  the  flesh  of  horses,  dogs,  and  unclean  things.  Bands 
of  lawless  banditti,  prowling  in  the  district^  ad!ded  to  the 
horrors  of  the  scene. 

A  gang  led  in  1317  by  Gilbert  de  Middleton,  constable  of 
Mitford  Castle,  committed  great  excesses,  and  did  not  even 
spare  churchmen.  Support  was  given  tahim  by  some  border 
men  of  inffuence,  irritated  it  is  said  by  the  imprisonment  of 
Adam  de  Swinbum,  the  sheriff  of  the  county,  who  had  ven- 
tured to  address  a  remonstrance  to-  the  king,  complaining  of 
the  inadequacy  of  the  measures  for  preserving  order  in  the 
border  land.  With  the  conduct,  however,  of  the  men  of  the 
north  generally,  the  king  appears  to  have  been  satisfied,  for 
on  the  30th  of  May,  1316,  in  a  letter  of  credenee  addressed 
to  the  earls,  barons,  kui^ts,  and  free  men  (liberi  homines)^ 
and  all  others  in  the  county,  he  thanks  them  for  their  fidelity 
and  valour  m  resisting  the  Scots,  and  in  defending  his  here- 
ditary right  and  their  own  personal  liberty ;  he  is  greatly 
grieved  at  the  hardships  and  troubles  which  they  had  sus- 
tained from  the  enemy ;  and  when  he  shall  have  assembled 
his  army,  he  intends  to  proceed  speedily  with  sufficient  force 
to  defend  them  against  hostile  incorsicms ;  John  de  Felton^ 
constable  of  the  castle  of  Alnwick,  to  whom  they  were  to 
give  full  faith  in  all  matters  relating  to  the  king's  intended 
movements,  is  well  able,  he  adds,  to  explain  his  intentions  to 

Whatever  may  have  been  the  cause  of  the  disaffection,  the 
malcontents  under  Gilbert  de  Middleton  ravaged,  plundered, 
and  destroyed.  In  one  of  his  predatory  excursions,  issuing 
from  a  wood  at  Rusheyfbrd — ^betvreen  Ferry  Hill  and  Wood- 
ham — he  seized  upon  the  bishop  of  Durham  and  his 
brother  Lord  Henry  de  Beaumont,  and  upon  two  cardinals, 
who  had  been  sent  by  the  pope  to  ordain  the  bishop  and 
endeavour  to  mediate  a  peace  between  England  and  Scotland* 
After  robbing  the  party  of  their  goods,  money,  and  horses,  he 
dismissed  the  cardinals,  but  imprisoned  the  bishop  at  Morpeth 
and  his  brother  at  MitJfbrd ;  heavy  ransoms  were  paid  before 
they  were  released.  All  the  castles  of  Northumberland,  ex- 
cepting Norham,  Bamburgh,and  Alnwick,  were  taken  by  these 
freebooters.  Short,  however,  was  the  guilty  career  of  Gilbert 
de  Middleton;  he  was,  through  the  treachery  of  some  of  his 

*  Records,  Chronological  Abttrtct,  IT* 

Digitized  by 



own  men,  captured  in  his  own  castle  of  Mitford,  by  William 
Felton,  Thomas  Heton,  and  Robert  Homecliffy  and  was  sent 
to  London,  where  he  was  tried,  condemned,  and  executed.* 
Part  of  his  band  escaped  to  Horton  Castle  and  joined  the 
gang  of  Walter  Selby ,  another  noted  freebooter.  "  It  were 
a  wonderful  process '^  says  the  Sc€^  Chronica,  ^  to  declare 
what  mischiefs  came  by  hunger  and  asseges  by  the  space  of 
xi  yeares  in  Northumberland.  For  the  Scots  became  to 
be  so  jNTOud  after  they  had  got  Berwick,  that  they  nothing 
esteemed  the  Englishman." 

By  the  possession  of  property  in  Alnwick  at  this  period, 
the  very  old  Northumbrian  family  of  Middleton  was  con- 
nected with  the  town.  As  early  as  1263,  we  find  John  de 
Middleton  possessed  of  ^Belsowe,"  now  Belsay ;  but  John,  his 
grandson,  who  inherited  it,  had  joined  his  kinsman  Gilbert  in 
his  rebellion,  and  suffered  the  forfeiture  of  his  property,  which 
was  in  1318  granted  by  the  king  first  to  John  de  Crumbewell, 
and  next  to  Sir  John  de  Strivelyn,  a  distinguished  warrior 
high  in  the  king^s  favour.  This  knight  commanded  the 
English  forces  at  the  siege  of  the  castle  of  Loch  Leven,  in 
1335,  when  they  attempted,  by  erecting  a  strong  wall,  to 
obstruct  the  flow  of  the  water  and  overwhelm  the  castle ;  but 
the  attempt  failed.  He  was  a  busy  man  in  the  affairs  of  the 
north,  and  by  the  favour  of  the  king  and  by  prudent  marri- 
ages, accumulated  large  possessions.  He  was  first  married 
to  Barbara,  one  of  the  co-heirs  of  Adam  de  Swinburne ;  and 
next  to  Jane,  daughter  of  Richard  de  Emeldon,  by  whom  it 
seems  he  came  into  possession  of  property  in  Alnwick  and 
the  neighbourhood.  Richard  de  Emeldon  had  besides  other 
possessions  when  he  died  in  1333,  lands  in  Alnewyke,  Rug- 
geley,  AInemuth,  Walden  (Wooden),  Wooler,  Coldmartin, 
Abberwick,  Newton-on-the-Moor,  Tyndeley,  Sheepeham, 
Broxfield,  Emeldon,  Dunstan. 

Through  his  marriages.  Sir  John  Strivelyn  became  allied 
to  the  family  of  Middleton,  as  well  as  of  Swinburn;  and 
when  he  died,  many  of  his  possessions  passed  by  virtue  of  a 
settlement  to  John  de  Middleton  and  his  wife  Christiana ; 
and  hence  we  find  that  John  de  Middleton,  who  died  in 
August,  1896,  was  possessed  of  the  half  of  Belshowe  (Belsay) 
and  many  other  lands,  among  which  were  four  tenements 
and  fifty-two  acres  of  land  and  a  meadow  with  appurtenances 
in  Alnewyk,  held  on  free  burgage  tenure,  and  which  were 

•  <«  ScaU  Chionica,"  p.  548.    Pakyngton's  ChxoDiqae,  p.  462. 

Digitized  by 



worth  eighty  shillings  yearly ;  one  burgage  in  Alnemouth  on 
free  burgage  tenure  worth  nothing.* 

These  estates  were  in  the  possession  of  Christiana  his  wife 
in  1421.  The  present  Sir  Charles  Atticus  Monck^  Bart.,  is 
a  lineal  descendant  of  the  Middletons ;  though  disconnected 
with  Alnwick,  he  holds  Belsay  and  other  Northumberland 
estates;  his  father  in  1799  took  the  surname  of  Monck 
in  compliance  with  the  will  of  his  maternal  grandfather. 
Honourably  is  the  family  known  to  fame  for  the  heroism 
displayed  in  the  eighteenth  century  by  Sir  William  Middleton, 
Bart.,  in  bravely  and  successfully  battling  for  the  political 
independence  of  the  county.  He  was  five  times  returned  a 
knight  of  the  shire  during  the  reign  of  George  II. 

A  few  other  scraps  may  be  taken  from  the  public  records 
relating  to  property  in  Alnwick. 

The  sheriff,  m  1296  and  1297,  accounts  for  ten  shillings 
owing  by  William,  son  of  Ralph  de  Alnewic,  for  encroach- 
ment on  a  pasture. 

In  1329,  the  king  granted  for  ten  years  to  Robert  de 
Newerk  the  custody  of  the  lands  and  tenements  which  be- 
longed to  William  de  Rodam  and  Robert  de  Paxton,  lately 
enemies,  at  the  yearly  rent  of  twenty-four  shillings  and  four- 
pence,  in  Alnewyk,  Rodom,  and  Aiburwyk.  i^dam's  pro- 
perty in  Prendewyk,  consisting  of  one  toft,  four  cottages, 
and  one  hundred  and  two  acres  of  land  were  committed  to 
the  custody  of  William  de  Emeldon  for  seven  years  at  the 
yearly  rent  of  thirteen  shillings  and  fourpence.f  The 
Kodams,  at  this  period,  were  a  powerfrd  family ;  but  most  of 
them  were  rebels;  in  1334,  the  properties  of  Adam  de  Rodom 
and  Henry  de  Rodum,  both  rebels,  were  placed  in  custody  ;J 

*  He  held  also  one  tenement  and  the  third  part  of  a  tenement,  and  forty  aczes 
of  land  and  meadow  in  Wolden  (Wooden)  on  socage  tenure  worth  yearly  twenty 
ahillinga ;  twelve  acres  of  land  in  Sonderland-flat  near  Lesbery,  in  socage,  worth 
yearly  twelve  shillings ;  four  tenements  and  fifty- two  acres  of  land  in  Emildon 
and  Dnnstane  held  of  the  duke  of  Lancaster  by  knight* s  service,  and  worth  yearly 
twenty-two  shillings ;  the  manor  of  Newton-on-the-Sea  and  a  water  mill  held  of 
the  earl  of  Northumberland  on  knighfs  service,  and  worth  yearly  iS20;  the 
manor  of  Burnton  with  a  mill  by  knight's  service  of  the  earl,  and  worth  £10 ;  the 
third  part  of  Tyndeley  worth  ten  shillings  in  socage,  from  the  lord  of  Elyngham; 
one  burgage  on  free  burgage  tenure  from  the  king,  worth  yearly  five  shillings; 
a  pasnue  called  Black  Middyngmore,  near  Wameforde,  on  socage  from  the  earl, 
and  worth  yearly  two  shillings ;  one  wood  called  Elwaldsyde  on  knight's  service 
from  the  earl,  worth  five  shillings* 

t  9  Edw.  III.,  B«t.  12,  I  S  Edw.  lU^  Bot  0. 

Digitized  by 



and  In  18S6,  the  king  granted  to  John  de  Banning^  of  Alne- 
wyk,  for  his  good  service,  to  hold  during  his  whole  Ufe,  three 
messuages  and  eight  acres  of  land  in  Alnewyk,  which  be- 
longed to  William  de  Rodum,  senior^  lately  an  enemy,  at  the 
yearly  rent  of  six  shillings  and  eightpence ;  two  years  later, 
they  were  granted  on  the  same  conditions  to  Galfred  de 
Wandesford;  and  in  1370,  these  lands  of  William  de  Rodum, 
''lately  an  adherent  of  the  Scots,'^  were  committed  to  Thomas 
de  Motherly.  Robert  de  Manners,  Thomas  de  Hoton,  John 
de  Hebbum,  John  Wendout^  and  John  de  Alnwyk  had  at 
this  period  property  in  Alnwick.  In  1834,  Robert  de  Top- 
cliffe  was  appointed  forest  bailiff  of  Alnwick.* 

From  the  judicial  inquiry  in  1S91,  it  appears  that  a  market 
and  fair  were  held  in  Alnwick  according  to  immemorial  usage, 
probably  going  backward  to  Saxon  times.  Bishop  Bek,  for 
what  reason  does  not  appear,  obtained  a  charter  from  Edward 
L  in  1297,  to  hold  a  market  in  Alnwick  weekly  on  Saturday, 
and  a  &ir  on  the  17th  of  March  and  the  six  following  days. 
The  following  is  a  literal  translation  of  this  charter : — 

"  For  the  bishop  of  Durham. 

The  king  to  the  archbishops,  bishopsi  &c.  Enow  that 
we  have  granted,  and  by  this  charter  have  confirmed  to  the 
venerable  father  Anthony  Bek,  bishop  of  Durham,  that  he  and 
his  heirs  for  ever  may  have  one  market  weekly  on  Saturday  at 
his  manor  of  Alnewyk  in  the  county  of  Northumberland,  and 
one  fJEur  there  yearly  continuing  for  seven  days,  to  wit,  on  the 
eve  and  on  the  day  of  Saint  Patrick  and  for  five  days  following, 
unless  that  market  and  that  fJEur  be  to  the  injury  of  neighbouring 
markets  and  neighbouring  fEurs ;  and  that  he  may  have  a  free 
warren  in  all  his  demesnes  of  Alnewyk,  Alneham,  and  Tughale, 
in  the  oounty  aforesaid ;  provided  these  lands  be  not  within  the 
boimds  of  our  forest;  so  that  no  one  may  enter  those  lands  to 

*  Be  balliTA  foxcttuis  \  Bex  omnibiis  ad  qnos,  &c.,  sslatem.  Sciatis  quod 
Forests  de  Alnewyk  con-  >  concessimiiB  dilecto  nobis  Roberto  de  Topclyre  baUi- 

laa.  /  yam  forestaris  forests  de  Alnewyk,  qu»  fnit  Henrici 

de  Percy,  defunct!,  qui  de  nobis  tenuit  in  capite,  et 
[*  So  on  rott,"]  qus,  ratione,  minoris  setatis    .    •*    bsredis  ipiius 

Henrici,  in  manu  nostra  existit;  custodienda  quamdiu 
nobis  placuerit;  percipiendo  per  annum  in  balli?a 
prsdicta  tantnm  quantum  idem  Robertus  tempore 
dicti  Henrici  percepit  pro  custodia  supradicta.  In 
cujus,  &o.  Teste  Rege  apud  Tbomeye,  xxxix  die 
Octobris,  per  breve  de  Pri?ato  Sigillo.— Patent  Roll, 
8  Edw,  IL,  Part  1,  nu  11. 

Digitized  by 



hunt  in  them  or  to  take  any  thing  that  pertainB  to  warren,  with- 
out the  license  and  will  of  the  same  Anthony  or  his  heirs,  under 
a  penalty  to  us  of  ten  pounds.  Wherefore  we  will  and  firmly 
command  for  ourselves  and  our  heirs,  that  the  aforesaid  Anthony 
and  his  heirs  shall  have  for  ever  the  aforesaid  market  and  fiEur 
at  his  manor  aforesaid,  with  all  liberties  and  free  customs  per- 
taining to  this  kind  of  market  and  fair ;  unless  that  market  and 
that  fair  be  to  the  hurt  of  the  neighbouring  markets  and  neigh- 
bouring fairs :  and  that  they  may  have  free  warren  in  all  their 
aforesaid  lands ;  provided  these  lands  be  not  within  the  bounds 
of  our  forest ;  so  that  no  one  may  enter  those  lands  to  hunt  in 
them  or  to  take  any  thing  that  pertains  to  warren,  without  the 
license  and  will  of  the  same  Anthony  or  his  heirs,  under  penalty 
to  us  of  ten  pounds  as  is  aforesaid.  These  bein^  witnesses,  the 
venerable  falhers  W.,  of  Ely,  and  B.,  of  London,  bishops ;  Hugh 
le  Despenser,  QreoSrey  de  Geynevill,  Thomas  de  Berklaye,  Wal- 
ter de  Beauchamp  steward  of  our  household,  John  Buteturte, 
John  de  Merk,  and  others.  Given  under  our  hand  at  Winchelsea 
the  20th  day  of  August  in  the  year  of  our  reign  the  25th, 
[1297]."— Charter  Edl,  25  Bdw.  I.,  m.  1. 

Another  document  among  the  public  records  tells  of  the 
ruined  state  of  an  ancient  bridge  which  spanned  the  Aln  in 
1847,  near  the. place  where  the  Lion  Bridge  now  stands. 
Edward  III.  granted  the  tolls  of  this  bridge  for  three  years 
to  the  men  of  Alnwick,  to  enable  them  to  repair  it  and  to 
pave  tbe  town.  Especially  interesting  is  this  charter^  because 
specifying  the  amount  of  toll  chargeable  on  various  commo- 
dities, it  shews  the  character  of  the  trade  of  the  town  at  this 
early  period.  The  town  had  become  important  and  its  trade 
was  considerable;  for  the  charter  assumes  that  the  traffic 
was  so  great  as  to  yield  tolls  in  the  course  of  three  years 
sufficient  in  amount,  not  merely  to  repair  and  probably  re- 
build the  bridge,  but  also  to  pave  the  streets.  The  country 
extending  many  miles  around  Alnwick  would  then  be  sup- 
plied with  merchandise  at  its  markets  and  fairs,  where  too  the 
surplus  produce  of  the  country  would  be  disposed  of.  The 
trades  of  tanner,  skinner,  weaver,  dyer,  fuller,  tinner,  brazier, 
and  smith  were  then  carried  on  in  the  town,  as  materials 
necessary  for  such  employments  were  brought  to  the  markets. 
The  following  is  a  literal  translation  of  this  document : — 

<<  Oonoeming  Pontage. 

The  king  to  the  bailifSs  and  good  men  of  the  town  of 
Alnewyk  in  the  county  of  Northumberkuid  greeting.  Know  ye 
that  in  aid  as  well  of  the  bridge  of  the  town  aforesaid  which  is 
rained  and  broken  to  the  serious  loss  of  the  men  passing  by  that 

Digitized  by 



bridge,  as  of  the  paving  of  your  town  aforesaid,  we  grant  to  jon, 
that  from  the  day  of  me  making  of  these  presents,  even  to  the 
end  of  three  years  next  following  fully  completed,  yon  may  take 
by  the  hands  of  those  in  whom  you  have  confidence,  and  for 
whom  you  are  willing  to  be  answerable,  the  customs  underwritten 
on  things  for  sale  coming  to  the  scdd  town  and  passing  by  the 
said  bridge,  &c.,  as  above.  Witness,  the  king,  at  Westminster, 
18thday  of  April. 

To  wit,  for  eveiy  horse-load  of  com  for  sale,  one  farthing ;  for 
every  cart  load  of  com  for  sale,  one  hali^nny ;  for  every  horse, 
mare,  bull,  or  cow  for  sale,  one  fiEurthing;  for  every  skin  of  a 
horse  or  mare  for  sale,  one  farthing ;  for  every  hundred  of  skins 
of  goats,  stags,  hinds,  fallow  deer  for  sale,  one  halfpenny ;  for 
every  hundred  of  skins  of  lambs,  kids,  hares,  rabbits,  foxes, 
cats,  and  squirrels  for  sale,  one  &rthing ;  for  every  horse-load  of 
cloths  for  sale,  one  halfpenny ;  for  every  entire  doth  for  sale,  one 
farthing ;  for  every  hundred  of  webs  of  linen,  canvas,  cloths  of 
Ireland,  Gkdloway,  and  Worsted  for  sale,  one  hali^enny;  for 
every  hogshead  of  wine  or  ale  for  sale,  one  penny ;  for  every 
cart  load  of  honey  for  sale,  one  halfpenny ;  for  every  bundle  of 
cloths  for  sale  brought  by  a  cart,  twopence ;  for  every  cart  load 
of  lead  for  sale,  one  penny;   for  merchandise  sold  by  weight 

Soverio  de  pondere)^  to  wit  for  a  hundred  weight,  one  penny ; 
or  every  poise  of  tallow  and  fat  for  sale,  one  farthing; 
for  every  quarter  of  woad  for  sale,  one  halfyenny;  for  every 
hundred  weight  of  alum,  copperas,  cream  of  tartar  ?aryat7),  and 
verdigrease  for  sale,  one  penny;  for  two  thousana  onions  for 
sale,  one  farthing ;  for  ten  sheaves  {shavis)  of  garlic  for  sale,  one 
^Birthing;  for  every  thousand  herrings  for  sale,  one  farthing ;  for 
every  cart  load  of  sea-fish  for  sale,  one  feurthing ;  for  every  hun- 
dred boards  for  sale,  one  farthing ;  for  every  mill-stone  for  sale, 
one  farthing ;  for  every  thousand  fsiggots  for  sale,  one  penny ; 
for  every  quarter  of  salt  for  sale,  one  flEurthing ;  for  every  poise 
of  cheese  or  butter  for  sale,  one  ietxiMng ;  for  every  cart  load  of 
wood  and  coals  for  sale  by  the  week,  one  haL^enny ;  for  every 
quarter  of  oak  bark  for  »Ede,  one  farthing ;  for  every  hundred 
weight  of  tin,  brass,  and  copper  for  sale,  one  haU^enny ;  for 
every  bundle  of  mercAiandise  of  whatever  kind  for  sale  and  every 
other  thing  for  sale  of  the  value  of  five  shillings  not  here  speci- 
fied, coming  to  the  said  town  and  passing  through  that  town, 
excepting  wool,  wool  feUs,  hides  of  bulls  and  cows,  and  iron,  one 
farthing?'— Patent  EoU,  61  Edw.  HI.,  m.  19, 

Some  idea  of  the  relative  value  of  different  commodities 
may  be  gathered  from  the  tolls  charged.  The  general  ratio 
between  the  toll  and  the  value  of  an  article  was  one  penny 
to  a  pound ;  though  this  doubtless  was  modified  in  its  appli* 
cation  to  particul^  commodities.    A  horse  load  of  com  paid 

Digitized  by 



the  same  toll  as  a  horse^  bull,  or  cow ;  their  carcasses,  how^ 
ever,  were  not  of  high  value,  for  the  toll  on  the  hide  was  as 
much  as  that  on  the  live  animal.  Mill-stones  were  of 
great  value,  as  their  toll  was  as  much  as  that  of  a  load  of 
com.  Though  apparently  small  in  amount,  these  tolls  were 
a  tolerably  heavy  tax ;  for  money  then  was  worth  twenty 
times  its  present  value.  Wheat  was  four  shillings  a  quarter ; 
a  sheep  sold  for  a  shilling;  in  1361,  two  hides  sold  for  fifteen- 
pence,  a  cow  brought  six  shillings,  a  heifer  five  shillings,  and 
a  bull  seven  shillings ;  the  wages  of  skilled  workmen  were 
about  threepence  a  day. 

The  old  Norman  church,  as  well  as  the  castle,  had  become 
ruinous ;  for  in  the  middle  of  the  fourteenth  century  it  was 
renovated  and  enlarged.  Windows  and  mouldings  in  the 
north  wall,  in  the  later  decorated  style  of  architecture,  are 
remains  of  this  period.  Some  other  information  is  afforded 
by  the  records  of  taxation  on  ecclesiastical  property.  Aln- 
wick Church  was  still  a  chapelry  connected  with  Lesbury ; 
in  the  Taxatio  Ecclesiastica,  about  1291,  Lesceby  (Lesbury) 
with  the  chapels  of  Houghton,  Alnewyk,  and  Alnmuth,  are 
valued  at  £70 ;  the  abbey  of  Alnewyc  at  £30.  But  such 
had  been  the  desolating  effect  of  Scottish  inroads,  that,  in  the 
taxation  of  1316,  two  years  after  the  battle  of  Bannockbum, 
the  ecclesiastical  benefices  in  the  deanery  of  Alnwick  are  said 
to  be  waste  and  entirely  destroyed.  Churches  and  church 
property  were,  however,  in  a  better  condition  in  the  reign  of 
Edward  III. ;  for  in  the  Nonarum  Inquisitionea  made  in 
1346,  while  Yorkshire  and  Lancashire  are  returned  as  deteri- 
orated by  Scotch  ravages,  Corsenside  and  Holystone  are  the 
only  Northumbrian  parishes  in  that  condition.  The  parish 
of  Lesbury  including  the  chapels  of  Houghton,  Alnwick,  and 
AJnmouth,  was  assessed  at  £76  13s.  4d.  for  the  ninths  of 
corn,  wool,  and  lambs.  It  may  not  be  uninteresting  to  add 
the  value  of  a  few  other  churches  in  the  neighbourhood: 
— Shiplinbotel  was  £17  2s.,  Howick  £16,  Werkeworth 
£100,  Emeldon  £120,  Edlyngham  £36  13s.  4d.,  Eg- 
lingham  £100,  Wytingeham  £100,  Alneham  £37  13s.  4d., 
Angerham  (Ingram)  £63  6s.  8d.,  Felton  £46  13s.  4d., 
Routhebery  £133  6s.  8d.,  Alwenton  £86  13s.  4d.,  Haliston 
formerly  £8,  was  altogether  wasted  by  Scottish  enemies. 

The  little  seaports  near  Alnwick  were  at  this  period  greatly 
more  important  than  at  the  present  time.  When  the  infamous 
Queen  Isabella  was  preparing  to  make  a  descent  from  France 
on  England  to  dethrone  her  husband,  all  ships  carrying  thirty 

Digitized  by 



tons  and  more,  were  in  1326  commanded  to  be  at  Erewell  in 
Suffolk,  sufficiently  armed  and  victualled  for  the  defence  of 
the  kingdom ;  and  Ralph  de  Neville,  Thomas  de  Grey,  John 
de  Fenwyk,  and  John  de  Lillebum  were  appointed  super- 
visors for  this  purpose  of  the  ports  and  viUs  of  Alemuth, 
Werkworth,  Dunstanburgh,  and  other  northern  ports.*  In 
1333,  similar  commands  were  addressed  to  the  bailiffs  of  the 
vills  of  Alnmouth,  Warkworth,  Emildon,  and  Bamburgh,  to 
detain  all  the  ships  in  these  ports  carrying  fifty  tuns  of  wine 
and  upwards,  and  with  aU  speed  to  equip  them  with  muni- 
tions of  war  that  thejr  might  be  ready  to  go  forth  in  defence 
of  the  kingdom.  Similar  commands  were  given  in  1334; 
and  in  1316,  the  bailiff  of  the  vill  of  Alemuth  was  ordered  to 
send  such  ships  of  that  port  sufficiently  munitioned  and 
victualled  to  go  to  Gascony.f 

I  may  add  here  that  the  ancient  name  of  Alnmouth  was 
Saint  Waleric;  for  in  the  foundation  charter  of  Alnwick 
Abbey,  Eustace  de  Vescy  granted  to  it  in  1147,  one  measure 
of  land  in  the  burg  of  St.  Waleric,  to  whom  the  church  had 
been  dedicated.  Newbigging-by-the-Sea,  in  Northumber- 
land, bore  the  same  name  at  an  early  period ;  William,  the 
illustrious  earl  of  Northumberland,  before  he  became  king  of 
Scotland  as  William  the  Lion,  granted  to  William  de  Vescy 
a  charter  to  hold  a  market  at  Saint  Waleric,  which  was  then 
called  Newbigging.  J 

•  Bymer'8  Foed.,  II.,  p.  639.  f  RoU  Soot,  I.,  and  Rym  Feed. 

X  Raine's  Memorials  of  Hexham  Priory,  I.,  p.  zi^. 

Fia  13 

Old  Percy  Arms— Be?erley  Minster.    See  page  112. 

Digitized  by 







Henry  de  Percy,  the  third  haron  of  Alnwick,  was,  accord- 
ing to  the  chronicle  of  Alnwick  Abbey,  brought  up  in  his 
youth,  partly  at  the  king's  court  and  partly  with  his  uncle, 
the  duke  of  Lancaster.  He  is  represented  as  eloquent, 
learned,  and  watchful ;  in  his  father's  lifetime,  he  was  feared 
by  the  Scots,  and,  by  reason  of  his  eloquence  in  treaties,  was 
somewhat  beloved,  for  he  was  well  learned  and  watched  well, 
and  wisely  and  maturely  and  eloquently  answered  to  the 
things  proposed.  This  eulogy  is  probably  just ;  for  though 
his  actions  prove  him  to  have  been  ambitious,  selfish,  and 
turbulent,  he  was  certainly  one  of  the  ablest  and  most  dis- 
tinguished of  his  family. 

He  was  twenty-six  years  of  age  when  his  father  died ;  but 
before  that  time,  he  had  been  twice  engaged  in  the  French 
wars  in  the  years  1359  and  1363.  To  the  barony  of  Alnwick 
he  succeeded  in  1368 ;  and,  in  the  course  of  that  year,  he 
was  with  King  Edward  III.  at  Calais ;  and  was  afterwards 
sent  into  Poitou  with  an  army  to  the  relief  of  the  marches 
there.  He  was  again  in  the  French  wars  in  1369,  having 
with  him  a  retinue  of  eleven  knights,  forty-eight  men-at-arms, 
forty-seven  esquires,  and  one  hundred  archers  on  horse-back. 

Digitized  by 



Being  seized  with  sickness  he  soon  returned.  After  this, 
he  was  in  France  again  for  some  time,  along  with  the 
earl  of  Lancaster,  till  a  truce  was  concluded  in  1376.  In 
that  year  he  was  advanced  to  the  dignity  of  marshal  of  Eng- 
land ;  and  in  1377,  he  was  made  general  of  the  forces  sent 
to  the  places  in  France  under  English  dominion.  Such  was 
his  magnificence,  that  he  had,  as  his  own  retinue,  one  hun- 
dred men-at-arms  and  one  hundred  archers,  and  a  ready 
supply  of  two  hundred  men-at-arms  and  two  hundred  archers, 
all  mounted  on  horseback.* 

At  this  period,  his  name  becomes  associated  with  the  early 
struggles  to  obtain  religious  reformation — one  of  the  few  acts 
of  his  busy  life  with  which  we  can  sympathise.  Wycliffe, 
the  precursor  of  Huss,  Luther,  and  Calvin,  who  a  century 
later  shook  the  spiritual  domination  of  Rome,  had  for  some 
time  been  preaching  and  writing  against  the  abuses  of  the 
Koman  Catholic  clergy ;  and  several  noblemen  had  become 
his  supporters,  either  from  conviction  of  the  truth  of  his 
doctrines,  or  for  political  purposes.  When  Wycliffe  was 
summoned  in  1377  before  the  convocation,  he  was  accom- 
panied h%  John  of  Gaunt,  the  king's  son,  and  Lord  Percy, 
the  marshal  of  England.  Courtenay,  the  presiding  bishop, 
irritated  at  this  daring  step,  exclaimed,  ^^Lord  Percy,  if  I  had 
known  what  masteries  you  kept  in  the  church,  I  would  have 
stopped  you  from  coming  hither."  '^He  shall  keep  such 
masteries  "  replied  the  duke  of  Lancaster,  ^'  though  you  say 
nay."  While  the  venerable  reformer  stood  before  the  pre- 
lates, who  were  seated,  Percy  considerately  desired  Wycliffe 
to  sit  down,  as  he  had  many  things  to  answer  for  and  would 
need  repose ;  but  the  bishop  insisting  that  Wycliffe  should 
stand,  a  warm  altercation  arose,  which  caused  the  meeting  to 
be  broken  up,  and  the  reformer  retired  under  the  protection 
of  the  two  lords.  A  mob  of  Londoners,  who  were  hostile  to 
the  duke,  assembled  next  day  to  revenge  what  they  considered 
the  insult  offered  to  their  bishop,  and  broke  open  Percy's 
house  and  killed  a  priest,  whom  they  mistook  for  him,  and 
afterwards  gutted  the  duke's  palace  of  Savoy.  Fortunately 
for  both  lords,  they  were  dining  at  the  time  of  this  riot  with 
John  of  Ipres,  a  Flemish  merchant. 

As  marshal  of  England,  Henry  de  Percy  officiated  at  the 
coronation  of  Richard  II.,  in  1377 ;  and  he  was  then  created 
earl  of  Northumberland,  being  the  first  of  his  family  who 

•  Dug,  Bar.,  I.,  276. 

Digitized  by 



enjoyed  that  dignity.  By  a  special  grant,  he  was  privileged 
to  hold  all  the  lands  of  which  he  was  then  seized  or  which 
he  might  afterwards  purchase.  Sub  Honore  Comitatus,  and 
as  parcel  of  his  earldom.  Soon  after  this,  he  resigned  his 
marshal's  rod;  and  proceeding  to  his  northern  estates  he 
engaged  with  energy  in  the  affairs  of  the  border  land. 

Henry  Percy,  however,  had  for  years  previously  been 
occasionally  engaged  in  border  warfare,  for  in  1368,  he  had 
been  appointed  one  of  the  wardens  of  the  marches  towards 
Scotland.  There  is  some  confusion  in  the  records  of  the 
engagements  of  that  period,  between  the  English  and  the 
Scots ;  events  of  a  similar  nature  are  narrated  by  Scottish 
historians  as  taking  *place  in  137S,  but  by  English  historians 
four  or  five  years  later.  Though  a  truce  had  been  concluded 
in  1857  to  last  for  ten  years,  the  turbulent  borderers  could 
not  refrain  from  aggressions.  Some  serious  differences  had 
arisen  between  the  two  border  chieftains,  Percy  and  Douglas; 
and  we  find  from  the  rolls  of  Scotland,  that  in  1373  and 
again  in  1374,  commissioners  were  appointed  to  endeavour 
to  settle  the  dispute  and  bring  about  peace  with  these 
haughty  men  ;*  but  the  effort  seems  to  have  been  fruitless. 
A  small  cause  involved  the  countries  in  war.  One  of  the 
followers  of  the  earl  of  Dunbar  was  killed  by  the  English  at 
Roxburgh  fair,  and  the  earl  demanded  redress  from  the 
English  wardens,  but  they  returning  a  scornful  answer, 
he  dissimulated  for  a  time ;  on  the  recurrence  of  the  fair, 
however,  in  the  following  year,  he  secretly  collected  his  fol- 
lowers, attacked  the  town,  slew  every  Englishman  in  it  from 
the  least  to  the  greatest,  set  it  on  fire,  and  plundered  it. 
Mutual  ravages  followed,  but  the  English  suffered  most. 
Deeply  grieved  at  these  insults  and  losses.  Lord  Percy  in  the 
following  year  entered  Scotland  with  seven  thousand  men  to 
waste  and  pillage  the  domains  of  George,  the  earl  of  Dunbar; 
and  passing  through  the  merse  of  Berwickshire,  he  encamped 
by  a  wood  at  Dunse.  This  invasion,  if  we  are  to  give  credit 
to  Fordim,  had  a  ridiculous  issue.  While  the  English  army 
were  quietly  and  as  they  thought  securely  slumbering  in  their 
camps,  a  few  of  the  peasants  and  shepherds  of  the  neigh- 
bourhood approached  to  the  English  encampment  stealthily 
during  the  night,  armed  only  with  rattles  made  of  dried 
skins  filled  with  pebbles  and  fixed  to  the  end  of  long  poles, 
and  which  were  used  to  frighten  away  deer  and  wild  cattle 

•  Hot.  Scot,  I.,  p.  965. 

Digitized  by 



from  the  com.  These  thejr  shook  vigourously,  and  the  horrid 
noise  produced,  so  terrified  the  English  horses,  that  they 
broke  from  their  keepers  and  ran  away  wildly  among  the 
hills.  Awakened  and  alarmed  by  the  noise,  the  English 
army  finding  themselves  deprived  of  their  war  horses  and 
beasts  of  burden,  fled  on  foot  in  disorder  towards  England, 
leaving  their  baggage  behind  them  *  This  strange  story  may 
be  an  exaggerated  version  of  events  which  occurred  in  1377 
according  to  English  historians;  for  we  are  told,  that  to 
revenge  the  burning  of  Roxburgh,  the  earl  of  Northumber- 
land, with  an  army  of  ten  thousand  men,  ravaged  the  lands 
of  the  earl  of  March.f 

The  siege  of  Berwick  by  the  earl  of  Northumberland,  in 
1378,  is  interesting  as  bringing  prominently  before  us  the 
most  popular  soldier  of  his  age,  Henry,  the  eldest  son  of  the 
earl.  Seven  powerful  natives  of  the  Scottish  border  had,  a 
little  previously,  by  a  daring  attack  surprised  and  taken  the 
castle  of  Berwick. J  The  earl  besieged  it  with  seven  thousand 
archery  and  three  thousand  horse,  and  though  defended  by 
only  forty-eight  determined  men,  it  held  out  for  eight  days ; 
on  the  ninth  it  was  taken  and  the  whole  of  the  brave  garri- 
son, excepting  the  governor,  were  cruelly  put  to  the  sword. 
Young  Percy,  then  little  more  than  twelve  years  of  age,  dis- 
played on  this  occasion  so  much  intrepidity  and  courage, 
that  he  received  the  sobriquet  of  Hotspur.  Knyghton  says 
"  that  this  Henry  is  by  the  French  and  Scots  called  Harre 
Hatesporrey  because  in  the  silence  of  the  stormy  night,  others 
being  unoccupied  and  in  quiet  sleep,  he  laboured  unwearied, 
as  if  his  spur  was  hot,  which  we  call  Hate8porre."§ 

The  duke  of  Lancaster  had  become  obnoxious  to  the  Eng- 
lish, and  in  1381  sought  a  temporary  asylimi  in  Scotland. 
Forgetful  of  his  old  friendship,  the  earl  of  Northumberland 
treated  the  duke,  in  his  distress,  with  disrespect;  and  on  the 
duke's  return  from  Scotland  gave  him  fresh  provocation  by 
refusing,  as  lord  warden,  to  permit  him  entering  into  Ber- 
wick. The  duke  complained  to  the  king,  but  the  earl  defended 
himself  with  boldness;  so  feeble,  however,  was  the  throne 
and  so  powerful  these  barons,  that  both  of  them  attended 
parliament,  with  numbers  of  armed  retainers;  and  it  was 
with  difficulty  that  the  king  composed  the  quarrel,  by  induc- 
ing the  earl  to  ask  pardon  of  the  duke  of  Lancaster. 

•  Fordun,  II.,  Lib.  XIV.,  Cap.  28.  f  Walsing,  p  211. 

X  Fordun,  II.,  p.  391.  §  Knyghton,  p.  2696. 

Digitized  by 



A  few  years  of  quiet  ensued  till  tlie  expiration  of  the  truce 
in  1384,  when  the  Scots  renewed  hostilities.  The  duke  of 
Lancaster  invaded  Scotland,  but  bad  weather  and  scarcity  of 
provisions  compelled  him  to  return  without  achieving  much; 
on  his  way  homeward,  he  made  an  agreement  with  the  earl 
of  Northumberland,  that  the  eail  should  reside  on  the  marches 
for  their  government  and  defence,  with  authority  to  levy  forces 
to  repel  invasion.  For  these  services  he  had  to  be  paid ;  and 
he  received  £4000  for  maintaining  garrisons  in  Berwick, 
Carlisle,  and  Roxburgh,  for  six  weeks.*  A  truce,  however, 
ended  for  a  time,  hostilities.  During  this  truce,  the  earl's 
deputy  governor  of  Berwick,  corrupted  by  a  bribe,  delivered 
up  Berwick  to  the  Scots.  The  quarrel  between  the  earl  and 
Lancaster  still  smouldered,  and  this  event  blew  it  into  a 
flame.  The  earl  was,  in  his  absence,  accused  of  treason 
before  parliament  by  Lancaster,  and  sentence  of  death  and  of 
loss  of  estates  was  pronounced  against  him.  When  sum- 
moned to  meet  his  accuser,  he  refused  to  obey,  assigning 
as  a  reason,  that  his  presence  was  required  near  the  marches. 
His  vigorous  and  successful  defence  of  the  borders  on  this 
emergency,  wiped  off  the  stain  which  had  been  cast  on  his 
fidelity.  He  assembled  a  great  force  and  attempted  to 
regain  Berwick;  but,  finding  the  weather  unpropitious  for 
a  regular  siege,  he  resorted  to  bribery ;  and  by  the  same 
corrupt  means  as  those  by  which  it  was  lost,  gained  posses- 
sion of  the  place.  The  charge  against  him  was  groundless ; 
and  the  king,  after  this  achievement,  pardoned  him  and 
restored  his  honours  and  possessions. 

Short  truces,  though  ill  kept,  gave  a  little  repose  to  the 
two  countries ;  but  in  1387  hostihties  were  renewed,  which 
led  to  one  of  the  most  romantic  of  border  battles.  Two 
Scottish  armies  crossed  the  border  ;  the  larger  body,  led  by  ' 
Earls  Fife  and  Strathearn,  ravaged  Cumberland;  and  the 
smaller  body  consisting  of  three  hundred  picked  lances  and 
two  thousand  stout  infantry  and  archers,  led  by  the  earls  of 
March,  Murray,  and  Douglas,  invaded  Northumberland,  and 
wasted  and  burnt  the  country  as  far  as  Durham.  Little 
opposition  was  made  to  these  inroads,  as  Richard  XL  was 
then  quarrelling  with  his  parliament.  The  smoke  of  burning 
villages  gave  the  first  intelligence  of  this  invasion  to  the  barons 
and  knights  of  the  county.  The  earl  of  Northumberland  sent 
his  two  sons.  Sir  Henry  and  Sir  Ralph  Percy,  to  Newcastle, 

•  Froissart  Chron.,  I.,  Chap.  79. 

Digitized  by 



with  all  hie  vassals  capable  of  bearing  arms ;  and  he  ordered 
every  one  to  repair  thither,  but  the  earl  himself  remained  in 
security  at  Alnwick  Castle.  A  large  army  was  soon  assem- 
bled at  Newcastle,  consisting  of  the  knights  and  squires  of 
the  county  with  their  followers.  Having  completed  the  object 
of  their  expedition,  the  Scots  began  their  return  home  laden 
with  booty,  and  lay  before  Newcastle-on-Tyne  for  three  days. 
The  valour  of  the  border  land  was  displayed  in  frequent 
skirmishes,  which  took  place  between  the  Scots  and  English. 
From  their  great  courage,  the  two  Percys  were  always  the 
first  at  the  barriers,  where  many  valiant  deeds  were  per- 
formed. The  two  great  border  warriors  engaged  in  hand  to 
hand  combat ;  and  Sir  Henry  Percy  was  overthrown  by  the 
gallantry  in  arms  of  the  Earl  Douglas,  who  won  Percy's 
pennon,  the  silken  streamer  fastened  near  the  head  of  his 
lance  and  bearing  his  insignia,  and  who  in  triumph  exclaimed 
— ^^  I  will  carry  this  token  of  your  prowess  with  me  to  Scot- 
land, and  place  it  on  the  tower  of  my  castle  at  Dalkeith,  that 
it  may  be  seen  from  afar."  "  By  God,  earl  of  Douglas,** 
replied  Sir  Henry,  *'  you  shall  not  even  bear  it  out  of  North- 
umberland ;  be  assured  you  shall  never  have  this  pennon  to 
boast  of."  *' You  must  come  then,"  answered  Douglas,  ^'this 
night  and  seek  for  it.  I  will  fix  your  pennon  before  my  tent, 
and  shall  see  if  you  will  venture  to  take  it  away/**  Somewhat 
of  braggarts  were  both  these  warriors. 

Early  in  the  following  morning,  the  Scottish  army  began 
their  march  homeward ;  and  on  the  same  evening  encamped 
at  Otterbum  in  Bedesdale.  Here,  contrary  to  the  opinion 
of  most  of  the  Scottish  chiefe.  Earl  Douglas,  from  chivalrous 
feeling,  determined  to  remain  for  a  few  days  ^'to  see  if  within 
.that  time  Sir  Henry  Percy  would  come  for  his  pennon.'* 
The  Percys  greatly  mortified  with  their  loss,  strongly  urged 
immediate  pursuit ;  but  the  other  English  chieftains  suppos- 
ing that  Douglas'  force  was  only  the  van  of  the  Scottish 
army,  objected  to  this  proposal.  Intelligence,  however, 
having  been  brought  that  the  Scottish  army  was  certainly 
not  more  than  three  thousand  strong.  Sir  Henry  Percy, 
greatly  rqoiced,  called  out — ^'  To  horse  !  to  horse  I  for  by 
3ie  faith  I  owe  my  God,  and  to  my  lord  and  father,  I  wiu 
seek  to  recover  my  pennon,  and  to  beat  up  their  quarters 
this  night."  On  the  19th  of  August,  after  dinner,  he 
led  an  army  of  six  hundred  spears  of  knights  and  squires, 

•  Froiusrt'8  Choniclet,  III.,  Chap.  125. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


and  upwards  of  eight  thousand  infantry  from  Newcastle; 
and  in  the  evening  of  the  same  day  arrived  at  Otterbum. 
Douglas  had  expected  no  attack  that  night;  some  of  his 
army  were  supping,  others  had  gone  to  sleep,  for  they  had 
been  wearied  by  an  unsuccessful  attack  on  Otterbum  Castle. 
Fortunately  for  the  Scots,  the  first  attack  of  the  English 
was  on  the  huts  of  their  servants;  and  the  battle  cry 
of  ^'  Percy !  Percy ! "  gave  the  alarm  and  roused  the  Scottish 
warriors.  The  resistance  made  in  the  servants'  camp,  gave 
time  for  the  Scottish  knights  and  soldiery  to  arm  and  arrange 
themselves ;  and  skirting  the  side  of  a  mountain,  hard  by, 
the  Scots  quite  unexpectedly  fell  on  the  English  flank  and 
threw  them  for  a  while  into  disorder.  The  full  moon  shone 
brightly  over  the  battle-field,  so  that  friend  could  be  dis- 
tinguished from  foe.  Heroes  fought  there,  and  great  bravery 
was  displayed  on  both  sides;  each  party  being  urged  to  deeia 
of  valour  by  their  leaders — "  Now  a  Douglas  was  the  cry ; 
now  a  Percy  rent  the  sky."  None  was  more  valiant  than 
Douglas;  seeing  his  men  repulsed,  he  seized  with  both  hands 
a  battle  axe,  dashed  into  the  midst  of  his  enemies,  and  struck 
all  down  before  him ;  but  advancing  too  far,  he  was  over- 
powered by  numbers ;  pierced  by  three  spears,  he  was  bonie 
to  the  ground  and  his  head  was  cleft  by  a  battle  axe.  His 
fall  was  kept  secret  from  his  army ;  but  when  djring,  he  bid 
his  friends  avenge  his  death,  raise  his  banner  which  had  fallen 
to  the  ground,  and  still  shout  the  battle  cry  of  ^^  Douglas ! " 
The  Scots  renewed  the  contest  with  increased  vigour,  and 
defeated  the  English.  Sir  Ralph  Percy  having  advanced  too 
far,  was  surrounded  and  severely  wounded ;  and  he  surren- 
dered to  Sir  John  Maxwell.  A  similar  fate  befel  the  rash, 
but  gallant  Sir  Henry  Percy ;  in  the  last  attack  made  after 
the  death  of  Douglas,  he  encountered  Sir  John  Montgomery, 
a  valiant  Scottish  knight ;  long  they  fought  hand  to  hand 
with  much  valour,  without  hindrance  from  any  one,  for  all 
the  other  knights  and  squires  were  engaged  in  similar  ren- 
counters; but  Montgomery  proved  himself  the  better  knight, 
and  Sir  Henry  Percy  was  made  prisoner.  The  English  lost 
in  killed  one  thousand  eight  hundred  and  forty  men,  upwards 
of  a  thousand  were  wounded,  and  more  than  a  thousand  were 
taken  prisoners;  indeed,  almost  every  Englishman  of  dis- 
tinction present  was  captured.  This  battle  was  lost  through 
ihe  rashness  of  Sir  Henry  Percy ;  for  his  army,  though  three 
times  as  numerous  as  the  Scots,  were  unable,  after  a  fatiguing 
march  of  thirty-two  miles,  to  contend  successfully  with  the 

Digitized  by 




Scottish  forces,  which  were  comparatively  unexhausted  and 
vigorous.  The  loss  of  the  Scots  was  only  about  one  hundred 
slain,  and  two  hundred  taken  prisoners ;  but  the  joy  of  the 
Scots  was  sadly  overcast  by  the  death  of  Douglas.  Soon  after 
the  battle.  Sir  Henry  Percy  obtained  his  liberty  on  paying 
a  ransom,  which  was  so  large,  as  to  enable  Sir  Henry  Mont- 
gomery to  build  his  castle  of  Penoon,  in  Ayrshire.* 

A  stone  marked,  from  an  ancient  time,  the  site  of  this 



But  this  was  removed  in  1777,  and  another  rude  memo- 
rial was  raised  about  one  hundred  and  eighty  yards  westward 
of  the  old  stone.  This  poor  structure  consists  of  a  stone 
pillar,  which  had  done  service  as  the  architrave  of  a  fire-place 
m  Otterburn  Castle,  resting  on  the  worn  socketed  base  of  the 
old  stone;  and  these  are  placed  on  a  circular  pedestal  of  rude 
masonry  tapering  to  the  top. 

Some  two  or  three  of  the  finest  of  our  border  ballads  are 
founded  partly  on  the  incidents  which  occurred  ixx  this  battle. 
In  the  ballad  of  ^^  The  battle  of  Otterbouine,"  the  whole 
struggle  is  described  with  much  graphic  power  and  pathos, 
which  must  have  stirred  the  hearts  of  Northumbrians  when 

*  Sir  Ralph  Percy  remained  in  captivity  about  two  years.  He  seems  to  haTo 
been  ransomed  by  Robert  III.,  king  of  Scotland,  who  granted  to  Sir  Henry 
Preston  for  his  redemption  a  charter  of  towns  and  lands.  He  was  slain  by  the 
Saracens  in  1400. — White's  Otterburn,  pp.  74,  110.  The  account  of  this  battle 
is  derived  chiefly  from  Froissart,  with  references  to  Hardyng,  Fordun,  Barbour, 
and  other  ancient  writers.  An  admirable  history  of  it,  with  memoirs  of  the 
warriors  engaged  in  it,  has  been  given  by  Mr.  Robert  White ;  to  whom  I  am 
indebted  for  the  illustration  of  the  battle  stone,  and  of  one  of  Hotspur's  arms — 


Digitized  by 



the  wandering  minstrel  sung  these  strains.  Though  id 
"  Chevy  Chase^"  the  most  popular  of  all  old  ballads^  it  is 
said — 

"  This  wu  the  hantynge  off  the  Cbeviat, 
The  tear  hegane  this  spam ; 
Old  men  that  knowen  the  grownde  well  yenoughe. 
Call  it  the  BatUeof  Otterburn,'^— 

yet  the  occasion  of  this  conflict,  the  place  where  it  occurred, 
and  the  incidents  described,  do  not  correspond  with  the 
historical  account  of  the  battle  of  Otterburn.  Probably  the 
bard  had  no  personal  knowledge  of  the  scene  and  the  events 
described  in  the  *'f|^ttntfnfl  a  tjfte  dfteWat/'  and  merely  gave 
poetic  form  to  floating  traditions  of  the  affray  which  took 
place  at  Piperden,  forty-nine  years  after  the  battle  of  Otter- 
bum,  and  which  he  confounded  with  this  better  known  and 
more  important  battle. 

Some  relics  of  this  battle  are  in  the  possession  of  the 
family  of  Douglas,  of  Cavers,  who  are  Imeally  descended 
from  Archibald  Douglas,  the  hero  of  the  conflict.  Different 
opinions  have  been  given  of  these  relics  j  but  the  recent 
examination  of  them  by  my  friend,  Mr.  J.  A.  H.  Murray, 
has  cleared  away  the  mystery.  The  flag  preserved  is  a  stan- 
dard thirteen  feet  in  length,  bearing  the  Douglas  arms — ^most 
probably  the  banner  of  Douglas,  brought  home  by  his  illegiti- 
mate son ;  but  there  is  also  a  relic  of  Percy,  a  pair  of  lady's 
gauntlets,  bearing  the  white  lion  of  the  Percys  in  pearls,  and 
fringed  with  silver  filigree  work ;  and  it  is  probably  the  love 
pledge,  which  Hotspur  carried  hanging  from  his  spear,  and 
which  was  won  from  him  by  Douglas  before  the  barriers  at 

For  some  years  after  this,  little  that  is  memorable  occurs 
on  the  borders.  A  disposition  was  shewn  on  both  sides  to 
repress  inroads  ;  and  commissioners  met  in  1398  at  Hawden 
Spike,  when  it  was  determined  to  set  free  all  prisoners;  strin- 
gent regulations  were  passed  to  prevent  inroads,  and  meetings 
were  appointed  to  be  held  monthly  by  the  wardens,  to  take 
cognizance  of  injuries;  and,  in  accordance  with  march  law, 
to  inflict  exemplary  punishment  on  the  guilty.  Harry  de 
Percy,  as  English  warden,  and  the  earl  of  March,  as  Scotch 
warden,  mutually  boimd  themselves  by  letters  to  observe 
these  conditions. 

*  Proceedings  of  the  Hawick  Arch»ologioal  Society. 

Digitized  by 



The  reign  of  the  imbecile  Richard  11.^  was  drawing  to  a 
close.  He  had  in  1399  suspicions  of  the  fidelity  both  of  the 
earl  of  Northumberland  and  of  his  son  Hotspur ;  they  had 
«poken,  he  was  told,  words  derogatory  to  his  majesty ;  and 
in  consequence,  he  summoned  the  earl  to  appear  before  him; 
but  the  earl  was  refractory,  and  for  this  disobedience  and 
other  disloyalty,  he  was  proclaimed  a  traitor  and  banished 
from  the  kingdom.*  The  king  having  gone  to  Ireland,  a 
favourable  opportunity  occurred  for  attempting  to  carry  out 
the  treasonaUe  designs,  which  had  been  formed,  for  the 
subversion  of  the  throne. 

The  earl.  Hotspur,  and  Ralph  Neville  earl  of  Westmore- 
land, raised  the  standard  of  rebellion,  and  assembled  their 
forces;  and  with  the  aid  of  other  powerful  barons,  they 
succeeded  in  deposing  Richard  and  placing  the  duke  of  Lan- 
caster on  the  throne  as  Henry  IV.  Richly  was  the  earl  of 
Northumberland  rewarded  for  his  services ;  he  was  advanced 
to  the  great  office  of  constable  of  England ;  he  was  made 
justice  of  Chester,  constable  of  the  castles  of  Chester,  Con- 
way, Flint,  and  Carnarvon,  general  warden  of  the  east 
marches,  governor  of  the  town  and  castle  of  Carlisle ;  and 
to  him  and  his  heirs  was  given  the  Isle  of  Man,  which  he 
held  by  carrying  the  Lancaster  sword  on  the  day  of  the 
king's  coronation.  Four  years  afterwards,  the  king  ^'  consi- 
dering the  extraordinary  labours  and  fruitful  obedience  of 
Henry  de  Percy,  earl  of  Northumberland,"  granted  to  him 
and  his  heirs  the  whole  county  of  Douglas ;  the  vales  of 
Eskedale,  Lydesdale,  and  Lawderdale ;  the  lordship  of  Sel- 
keryk  and  forest  of  Etteryck ;  and  all  the  lordships  of  the 
earl  of  Douglas,  with  a  few  exceptions.f  On  Hotspur  too, 
royal  gifts  were  showered ;  he  was  constituted  warden  of  the 
western  marches,  sheriff  of  Northumberland,  governor  of 
Berwick  and  of  the  castle  of  Rokesburgh,  justice  of  Chester, 
North  Wales,  and  Flintshire;  to  him  were  granted  the  castle 
and  lordship  of  Bamburgh,  with  the  fee-farm  of  that  town 
for  life;  he  was  made  constable  of  the  castles  of  Chester, 
Flint,  Conway,  and  Carnarvon,  and  sheriff  of  Flintshire  for 
life ;  the  whole  county  and  dominion  of  Anglesey,  and  the 
castle,  the  manors,  lands,  fee-farms,  and  rents  of  Beaumarys 

•   Frois.  ChroiL,  IV.,  Chap.  105. 

f  Rot  Scot,  II.|  p.  164;  where  is  giTen  a  full  list  of  these  Scottish  posses- 

Digitized  by 



were  also  granted  to  him  for  life.*    How  extravagant  and 
rapacious  were  the  men  of  that  time ! 

Soon  after  Henry  lY .  had  assumed  the  throne,  the  relations 
between  England  and  Scotland  were  disturbed  by  the  treach- 
erous conduct  of  the  earl  of  March,  who  renounced  his 
allegiance  to  his  sovereign,  and  agreed  to  yield  up  his  castles, 
troops,  and  services  to  the  king  of  England.  The  abbot  of 
Alnwick  Abbey  and  the  earl  of  Westmoreland  were  appointed 
to  treat  with  him  for  this  purpose.  The  earl  of  March  along 
with  Lord  Percy,  at  the  head  of  two  thousand  men,  made 
inroads  into  the  territories  of  Douglas  and  penetrated  as  far 
as  Haddington  ;  but  being  suddenly  attacked  by  Douglas  at 
Linton,  they  abandoned  their  plunder  and  luggage  and  fled 
with  precipitation  to  Bewick.  King  Henry  afterwards  in- 
vaded Scotland  with  an  immense  army,  but  though  achieving 
little,  yet  was  he  remarkable  for  the  leniency  with  which  he 
treated  his  enemies.  While  he  was  in  Scotland,  inroads 
were  made  into  Northumberland  by  the  Scots,  who  wasted 
and  burnt  Bamburghshire. 

After  a  short  truce,  hostilities  recommenced  in  1402.  One 
party  under  Hepburn  returning  laden  with  English  spoil, 
was  suddenly  attacked  by  the  earl  of  March  and  his  son,  at 
West  Nesbit  in  the  Merse ;  and  Hepburn  and  the  flower  of 
the  Lothian  youth  were  slain.  To  revenge  this  loss.  Earl 
Douglas,  in  the  month  of  August,  1402,  entered  England  at 
the  head  of  an  army  ten  or  twelve  thousand  strong,  and 
destroyed  and  plundered  the  country  as  far  as  Newcastle. 

Henry  IV.  was  then  engaged  with  Glendower  in  Wales ; 
but  the  earl  of  Northumberland,  Hotspur,  and  the  earl  of 
March  collected  an  army  and  intercepted,  near  to  Millfield, 
the  Scottish  army  returning  to  their  country  laden  with 
plunder.  Douglas,  on  reaching  Wooler  and  perceiving  the 
enemy,  seized  on  Homildon  Hill,  a  strong  position  about  one 
mile  westward  of  Wooler.  The  English  advanced  to  the 
attack,  and  Hotspur,  eager  to  reach  the  foe,  was  with  his 
usual  rashness  about  to  lead  his  men  up  the  hill,  when 
March,  seeing  the  danger  of  such  an  attempt,  seized  hold  of 
the  bridle  of  his  horse  and  advised  him  to  halt,  and  to  send 
among  the  enemy  a  flight  of  arrows.  Arranged  on  the  hill  side, 
the  Scots  presented  a  good  mark;  and  almost  every  arrow  be- 
came a  messenger  of  death.  The  Scots  falling  thickly  around 
and  unavenged,  Swinton,  a  biave  knight,  exclaimed  aloud — 

•  RoU  Lit  Claus.,  1  Hen.  IV.,  p.  4,  m.  7. 

Digitized  by 



"What  fascination  has  seized  you  my  brave  countrymen, 
that  ye  stand  to  be  shot  down  Uke  deer,  instead  of  calling 
forth  your  ancient  valour  and  meeting  your  enemies  hand  to 
hand.  Descend  with  me  to  conquer,  or  fall  like  men/' 
Accompanied  by  Adam  Gordon  and  one  hundred  men,  he 
rushed  down  the  hill;  but  too  few  in  number,  their  desperate 
valour  only  led  them  to  death.  Though  brave,  Douglas  had 
few  of  the  qualifications  of  a  general ;  at  length  he  attempted 
to  lead  his  army  down  the  hill ;  but  the  movement  was  too 
late ;  the  English  archers  retired  a  little  and  then  poured  in 
another  flight  of  arrows  so  strong,  that  they  pierced  through 
armour ;  and  even  Douglas,  notwithstanding  his  well  tem- 
pered mail,  was  wounded  in  five  places,  though  not  mortally. 
The  English  bowmen  here,  as  in  many  other  battles,  won 
the  day ;  the  Scots  were  completely  routed ;  numbers  were 
slain  m  the  field,  and  five  hundred  were  in  their  flight 
drowned  in  the  Tweed.  A  field  at  the  base  of  Homildon, 
bears,  in  remembrance  of  this  battle,  the  name  of  **  The  Red 

Hotspur,  though  distinguished  by  his  headlong  valour,  had 
the  fiiults  of  his  age ;  but  we  may  regret,  that  our  northern 
hero  here  stained  his  name  by  an  act  of  ruthless  cruelty.  Sir 
William  Stuart,  of  Forest,  was  taken  prisoner  at  Homildon, 
and  Hotspur,  contrary  to  the  recognised  rules  of  honourable 
warfare,  insisted  that  he  should  be  tried  as  a  traitor,  because 
he  was  a  native  of  Teviotdale  when  it  was  under  English 
power.  Stuart  was  eloquent  and  wise,  and  having  a  good 
cause,  defended  himself  so  well,  that  he  was  acquitted  by 
several  juries;  yet  Hotspur,  instead  of  honouring  a  brave  man, 
hunted  him  down  with  so  much  keenness,  that  he  dragged 
him  before  a  jury  of  his  own  retainers.  Stuart  was,  of  course, 
condemned,  executed,  drawn,  and  quartered,  amid  the  indig- 
nant murmurs  of  the  rest  of  the  English.! 

The  Percys  had  rendered  to  King  Henry  the  most  impor- 
tant services ;  and  the  rewards  showered  upon  them  were  so 
abundant  and  valuable,  that  their  sovereign  might  reasonably 
have  calculated  on  their  gratitude  and  fidelity;  but  they 
were  too  powerful  as  subjects,  and  too  unbounded  in  their 
expectations;  and  their  vaulting  ambition  led  them  to  concoct 
other  traitorous  designs.  One  king  they  had  pulled  down, 
another  they  had  set  up ;  and  they  now  determined  to  drag 
from  his  throne,  the  king  of  their  own  making.    The  defection 

*  Pinkerton  gives'  a  good  account  of  this  ongagemeDt        f  Bower,  p.  431. 

Digitized  by 



of  the  Percys  has  been  attributed  by  some  historians  and 
by  Shakespeare  to  resentment  at  the  king's  order,  not  to  put 
to  ransom  or  liberate  the  prisoners  taken  at  Homildon  with- 
out his  permission ;  but  though  this  might  irritate  haughty 
men,  it  could  scarcely  lead  to  the  overthrow  of  kingdoms,  for 
such  orders  had  not  been  unusual ;  and  we  know,  that  after 
this  battle,  the  Percys  had  no  scruple  in  accepting  rich 
rewards.  Doubtless,  however,  they  felt  as  a  grievance  the 
refusal  of  the  king  to  allow  the  friends  of  Sir  Edmund  Morti- 
mer to  ransom  him  from  Owen  Glendower,  with  whom  he 
was  a  prisoner.  The  public  records  disclose  another  ground 
of  dissatisfaction.  Four  letters  of  the  renowned  Hotspur, 
and  two  of  the  earl  his  father,  are  printed  in  the  Proceedings 
and  Ordinances  of  the  Privy  Council  of  England.  These 
letters  are  interesting  as  reUcs  of  a  historic  name,  and  as 
exhibiting  the  haughty,  captious,  and  uncompromising  cha- 
racter of  Hotspur,  and  the  keen  rapaciousness  of  the  earl. 
In  one  letter,  dated  10th  April,  1401,  from  Denbigh,  in  reply 
to  an  injunction  of  the  Privy  Council,  that  he  should  properly 
execute  his  duties  on  pain  of  forfeiture.  Hotspur  exhibits 
soreness  that  his  loyalty  should  be  suspected.  His  second 
letter  from  Denbigh,  of  which  he  was  constable,  presses  for 
payment  of  the  king's  soldiers  at  Berwick ;  and  in  another, 
on  17th  March  from  Denbigh,  he  tells  of  his  heavy  labour 
and  expense,  "  which  were  in  truth  so  unbearable,  that  he 
could  support  them  no  longer  than  the  end  of  the  month  or 
three  or  four  days  afterwards."  His  fifth  letter  is  the  most 
characteristic ;  he  reminds  the  council  of  his  repeated  appli- 
cation for  money  due  to  him  as  warden ;  and  alludes  to  sums 
owing  to  his  father  and  himself,  and  to  promises  made  by  the 
treasurer  to  him,  when  he  was  last  in  London,  that  if  agree- 
able to  the  council,  two  thousand  marks  should  be  paid  to 
him  before  February;  he  is  astonished  that  £5000  due  to  his 
father  for  the  marches  could  not  be  paid  in  good  faith ;  and 
he  thought,  that  the  council  either  attached  too  little  consi- 
deration to  the  marches,  or  were  dissatisfied  with  the  services 
of  himself  and  his  father ;  he  begged  the  council  not  to  be 
displeased,  because  he  wrote  ignorantly  in  his  rude  and  feeble 

These  letters  are  in  French ;  but  neither  the  letters  them- 
selves nor  the  signatures  appear  to  be  Hotspur's  autograph. 
Probably  he  could  not  write. 

Two  letters  were  sent  bjr  the  earl  of  Northumberland  in 
May  and  June,  1403,  pressing  for  payment  of  money  due  to 

Digitized  by 



himself  and  his  son.  If  the  money  were  not  paid,  he  tells 
the  council,  they  could  not  meet  the  king  at  Ormeston ;  and 
such  was  the  lofty  estimate  he  formed  of  himself  and  of 
Hotspur,  that  he  thought  it  probahle,  the  fair  renown  of  the 
chivalry  of  the  nation  would  not  be  maintained  in  that  place, 
to  the  utter  dishonour  and  grief  of  himself  and  his  son ;  "  if 
we  had  been  paid  "  he  continues,  *'  the  £60,000  since  your 
coronation,  then  we  could  better  support  such  a  charge ;  but 
to  this  day,  there  is  clearly  due  to  us  £20,000  and  more ;" 
he  then  entreats  for  payment  of  a  large  sum. 

Four  weeks  afterwards,  the  Percys  were  rebels.  Of  their 
treasonable  design  the  king  had  no  suspicion,  for  when  he 
first  heard  of  their  rebellion,  he  was  in  route  to  visit  the  earl 
to  assist  him  in  opposing  the  Scots.*  While  on  his  march 
northward,  the  king  in  a  letter  to  his  Privjr  Council,  says 
that  the  object  of  his  march  was  to  support  his  very  dear  and 
loyal  cousin,  the  earl  of  Northumberland  and  his  son  Henry, 
in  the  expedition  which  they  had  undertaken  for  him  and 
the  realm  against  his  enemies  the  Scots.  Whatever  may  have 
been  the  faults  of  King  Henry,  his  treatment  of  the  Percys 
was  generous  and  lenient;  indeed,  he  had  no  interest  in 
driving  such  powerful  men  to  revolt ;  his  own  circumstances 
at  this  time  were  exceedingly  embarassed,  and  the  nonpay- 
ment of  the  enormous  claims  put  forth  by  them,  arose  from 
inability.  By  a  certain  class  of  writers,  these  letters  are 
represented  as  a  justification  of  this  rebellion ;  to  me,  how- 
ever, they  seem  to  strip  the  subject  of  much  of  its  romance. 
In  a  rebellion  occasioned  by  a  personal  money  squabble 
there  is  no  dignity  and  no  patriotism.  These  overgrown 
men,  notwithstanding  the  rich  rewards  they  had  received, 
were  boundless  in  their  cravings  for  more ;  and  being  pos- 
sessed of  enormous  power,  they  appear,  moreover,  to  have 
had  the  ambition  of  gaining  sovereignty  in  England.  A 
superstitious  credulity  is  said  also  to  have  misled  them; 
according  to  Grafton : — ^^  Owen  Glendower  and  the  earl  of 
March  and  the  Percys  were  greatly  abused  and  deceived  by 
a  Welsh  prophecy,  which  made  them  believe  that  King 
Henry  was  the  moldewarpe  cursed  of  God's  own  mouth,  and 
that  they  three  were  the  dragon,  the  lyon,  and  the  wolfe, 
which  should  divide  this  realm  between  them,  by  the  prophecy 
of  M awmot  Marlyn."  In  passing  judgment  on  these  men^ 
allowance,  however,  must  be  made  for  the  state  of  the  times. 

•  Proc.  and  Ord.  of  Privy  Council,  I.,  p.  207. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


The  English  principle  of  loyalty  was  but  little  developed ; 
great  barons  had  been  struggling  for  plunder^  power,  and 
supremacy;  and  the  king  himself  was  viewed  as  a  baron^ 
but  greater  than  the  rest.  ^*  The  divinity  which  doth  hedge 
round  a  king  "  had  not  yet  been  seen ;  and  the  principles  of 
royal  succession  were  far  from  being  established.  Loyalty^ 
indeed^  as  a  rational  principle  actuating  free  men,  is  the 
result  of  long  experience  of  the  blessings  of  constitutional 

In  carrying  out  this  plot  the  main  actors  were  unscrupu- 
lous^ and  they  did  not  hesitate  to  league  themselves  with  the 
enemies  of  their  country.  Douglas  the  Scot  was  set  free, 
and  Berwick  was  promised  to  him,  on  condition  of  his  joining 
them  with  his  followers ;  Owen  Glendower,  who  was  en- 
deavouring to  set  up  an  independent  kingdom  in  Wales,  was 
admitted  into  the  confederacy ;  and  the  king  of  France  was 
applied  to  for  help.  The  plot  was  well  designed,  and  if  it 
had  been  as  skilfully  carried  out,  the  king  might  have  been 
hurled  from  his  throne ;  but  the  earl  of  Northumberland  was 
sluggish,  if  not  timid,  and  Hotspur  shewed  only  the  rashness 
and  valour  of  the  soldier.  His  father  being  *'  sore  sick  ^'  at 
his  castle.  Hotspur  took  the  command  of  the  army,  and  being 
joined  by  his  uncle,  the  earl  of  Worcester,  and  by  Douglas, 
marched  southwards  to  form  a  junction  with  Glendower. 
But  the  king  was  equally  active,  and  more  skilful ;  he  hast- 
ened to  the  Welsh  borders,  and  reached  Shrewsbury  in  time 
to  prevent  a  union  between  the  insurgents  and  the  Welsh. 
Although  Hotspur  was  enraged  because  the  Welsh  forces  had 
not  come  up,  he  yet  determined  to  hazard  a  battle.  A  paper 
was  first  distributed,  emanating  from  the  Percys,  charging 
the  king  with  perjury,  oppression,  and  murder ;  but  of  this 
the  king  took  little  notice,  as  the  issue  had  to  be  determined, 
not  by  the  pen  but  by  the  sword.  At  an  early  hour  on  the 
Slst  of  July,  1403,  Hotspur  drew  up  his  men  on  Hateley 
Field,  near  Shrewsbury,  in  front  of  the  king's  army ;  and 
fourteen  thousand  men  on  each  side,  the  best  troops  in 
Europe,  stood  ready  for  the  charge.  The  tnmipets  sounded 
and  both  rushed  to  the  encounter,  Eaperance^  Percy  !  being 
Hotspur's  battle  cry,  and  Saint  George,  for  us  !  the  battle 
cry  of  the  king.  An  irresistible  charge  was  made  ^y  Hotspur 
and  Douglas,  the  two  most  famous  warriors  of  the  period ; 
but  they  were  not  well  supported,  and  thev  were  hemmed  in 
by  the  royal  troops.  The  king  himself  possessed  valour 
as  a  soldier  and  wisdom  as  a  general,  and  supported  by  his 

Digitized  by 



cliiTalrous  son^  his  star  was  in  the  ascendant.  Hotspur  and 
Douglas  did  all  that  mere  valour  and  skill  of  arms  could 
accomplish^  but  from  the  effects  of  their  rashness  they  could 
not  escape ;  Hotspur  was  pierced  through  the  brain^  by  an 
arrow  from  an  unknown  hand^  and  ''  his  spur  became  cold ;" 
Douglas  was  taken  prisoner ;  and  their  troops^  dispirited  by 
the  loss  of  their  leaders^  fled^  leaving  more  than  half  of  their 
companions  dead  upon  the  field. 

Fortunate  it  was  for  England^  that  this  confederacy  was 
defeated ;  for^  if  it  had  been  successful^  England  might  have 
been  divided  into  three  kingdoms ;  or  a  puppet  of  a  king 
might  have  been  set  up^  and  the  nation  rent  by  lawless 

The  body  of  Hotspur  was  interred^  with  the  consent  of  the 
Vingj  by  Lord  Fumival  at  Whitchurch,  but  it  was  afterwards 
exhumed.  For  this  very  barbarous  act,  the  chronicle  of 
London  assigns  a  political  reason;  ''forasmuch  as  some 
people  said,  that  Sir  Harry  Percy  was  alive,  he  was  taken 
up  again  out  of  his  grave  and  bound  upright  between 
mill  stones,  that  all  might  see  he  was  dead."  This,  indeed, 
was  a  tribute  to  his  valour,  his  daring,  and  popularity.  In 
accordance  with  the  brutal  usage  of  the  times,  the  body  was 
afterwards  drawn  and  quartered,  and  the  mangled  remains 
were  exhibited  at  Shrewsbury,  London,  Newcastle,  York, 
and  Chester.  Four  months  afterwards,  his  widow,  with 
pious  care,  gathered  the  severed  members  and  interred  them 
m  York  Minster.  Thus  waned  and  disappeared  the  crescent 
of  a  heroic  personage,  whom  the  genius  of  Shakespeare,  more 
than  the  historian,  has  immortahsed.  His  character  drawn 
by  the  poet  is  true  to  nature.  Referring  to  it,  the  sagacious 
Dr.  Johnson  says — ^"  Percy  is  a  rugged  soldier,  choleric  and 
quarrelsome,  and  has  only  the  soldier's  virtues,  generosity,  and 
courage.''  Brave  he  was  undoubtedly,  and  highly  skilled  in 
the  use  of  arms ;  he  panted  for  distinction,  and  thought  it  an 
easy  task  to  pluck  bright  honour  from  the  pale-faced  moon ; 
notwithstanding  he  had  few  of  the  higher  qualifications  of  a 
general,  though  his  dashing  valour  fitted  him  as  a  guerilla 
chief  to  carry  on  border  warfare.  His  boldness  and  daring, 
however,  captivated  the  taste  of  an  age  when  physical  force 
was  in  the  ascendant. 

**  He  waa,  indeed,  tbe  glass 
Wherein  fhe  noble  youth  did  dress  themselres 
In  militaxy  rules,  humours  of  blood  i 
He  waa  the  mark  and  glaas,  copy  and  booh, 

Tit  At  ffloKlmiM  nfTiAM.'* 

That  iaahion'd  others." 

Digitized  by 




And  even  in  our  more  civilised  times,  there  are  many  who, 
while  they  would  not  exalt  his  faults  into  virtues,  yet  follow 
his  heroic  career  with  breathless  interest,  and  admire  his 
undaunted  courage,  and  lament  that  one  endowed  with  some 
noble  qualities,  should  have  fallen  so  soon  and  so  sadly. 

He  married  Elizabeth,  daughter  of  Edmund  Mortimer,  earl 
of  March,  and  by  her  he  had  one  son  and  one  daughter.* 

Two  illustrations  I  am  enabled  to  give  of  the  heraldry  of 
this  renowned  warrior. 

na  16 

Fia  15 

Fig.  15. 

Arms. — Ovy  a  lion  rampant  azure ^  differenced  by  a  laid  of 

three  points  gules  ;  occurs  between  1392  and  1897. 

Fig,  16. 

Arms. — Percy  and  Lucy  quarterly y  differenced  by  a  label  of 
three  points  ;  occurs  between  1899  and  1408. 

Supporters. — Ikco  lions  guardant. 

Badge. — A  locket,  from  which  hangs  the  shield.  "The 
absence  of  the  crescent"  as  Mr.  Longstaffe  remarks, 
"  strongly  indicates  its  connection  with  the  earldom." 

*  Hotspur  at  the  time  of  his  death  was  in  possession  of  the  Talbot  lands  in 
Tjndale,  which  consisted  of  the  manor  of  Walwykgrange,  &c. ;  and  included 
within  them,  what  is  now  called  Kielder.  But  how  they  came  into  his  possession 
is  a  mystery.  These  lands  were  part  of  fees,  held  in  1315  by  John  Comyn  de 
Badenach,  which  descended  to  his  two  daughters,  Johanna,  who  married  David 
Strathbogie,  earl  of  Athol,  and  Elizabeth,  who  married  Richard  Talbot  Half  of 
these  fees  passed  to  Athol  and  the  other  half  to  Talbot  David,  earl  of  Athol,  left 
two  daughters,  Elizabeth  and  Philippa ;  and  in  1874,  Henry,  the  first  earl  of 

Digitized  by 



llie  earl  of  Northumberland,  recovered  from  his  real  or 
pretended  sickness^  was  marching  to  join  his  son,  when  he 
first  heard  the  sad  tidings  of  the  death  of  Hotspur  and  defeat 
of  his  army.  Despairing  now  of  success  in  his  schemes,  he 
disbanded  his  forces  and  retired  to  his  castle  of  Warkworth. 
On  being  summoned,  he  deemed  it  politic  to  surrender  him- 
self to  the  king  at  York,  where,  to  save  his  life,  he  acknow- 
ledged his  treason,  and  meanly  excused  himself  by  asserting 
that  his  son — the  gallant  Hotspur — ^had  acted  contrary  to  his 
wishes  and  commands.  He  was  pardoned,  though  he  had 
to  be  kept  in  custody  till  the  commotions  subsided.  Soon 
after  his  arrest,  reports  having  been  spread  abroad  that  the 
king  was  dead  and  the  earl  at  liberty,  his  northern  retainers 
assembled  in  great  force  and  attempted  to  hold  the  castles  of 
Alnwick,  Berwick,  Warkworth,  and  other  fortresses  against 
the  king.  Alnwick  Castle  was  held  by  Sir  William  Worth- 
ington,  constable.  Sir  John  Wydale,  chaplain,  William 
Bodom,  John  Middelham,  Thomas,  clerk  of  Alnwick,  and 
Kichard  Bonde,  who  were  required  to  surrender  it  to  Gerard 
Heron ;  Warkworth  Castle  was  held  by  Henry  Percy,  with 
John  Cresswell,  the  constable,  and  Richard  Aske,  who  were 
required  to  surrender  it  to  John  de  Mitford.*  The  earl  of 
Westmoreland,  however,  threatening  to  assault  these  strong- 
holds with  cannon,  they  were  surrendered  to  the  king,  m 
accordance  with  the  agreement  entered  into  by  the  earl  of 

Early  in  1404  the  earl  was  liberated,  and  received  lenient, 
if  not  generous,  treatment  from  the  king ;  his  estates  were 
restored  to  him,  excepting  the  Isle  of  Man,  and  the  revenue 
of  five  hundred  marks  yearly  out  of  the  customs  of  Berwick; 
but  other  lands  of  equal  value  were  to  be  given  to  him  ;  he 
was,  however,  deprived  of  the  castle  of  Berwick,  and  of  the 
castle  and  forest  of  Jedburgh,  with  their  dependencies.f  This 
exceedingly  lenient  treatment  probably  arose  from  a  desire 

Northumberland,  paid  to  the  king  £760  to  have  the  custody  of  these  heiresses  ; 
and  forthwith  he  caused  them  to  be  married  to  two  of  his  sons — Elizabeth  to  Sir 
Thomas  Percy,  and  Fhilippa  to  Ralph  Percy,  both  brothers  of  Hotspur  ;  but  by 
what  process  Hotspur  came  into  the  possession  of  the  Talbot  lands  is  not  known  ; 
Hartshorne  supposes  by  purchase,  but  adduces  no  eyidence.  —  Hartshorne's  Feudal 
and  liilitary  Antiquities,  p.  260. 

•  Proc  and  Ord.  of  Privy  Council,  II.,  p.  211. 

f  The  castles  of  Berwick  and  Jedburgh  were,  however,  restored  to  him  on  the 
16th  of  November,  1404.    Rot  Scot.,  II.,  p.  172. 

Digitized  by 



to  prevent  his  vassals  joining  the  Scots^  and  delivering  up  to 
them  the  strongholds  held  by  the  earl.  On  being  pardoned 
and  restored  to  his  estates^  parliament  gave  great  thanks  to 
the  king  for  these  favours;  and,  at  their  request  and  by 
command  of  the  king,  the  earl  of  Northumberland  and  Ralpn 
Neville,  earl  of  Westmoreland,  in  token  of  perfect  amity, 
kissed  each  other,  and  took  each  other  by  the  hand  thrice  in 
open  parliament ;  and  on  a  subsequent  day,  the  same  cere- 
mony was  gone  through  by  the  earls  of  Northumberland  and 

Notwithstanding  the  oaths  of  fidelitv  he  had  taken,  and 
the  leniency  and  generosity  of  the  King,  discontent  still 
lurked  in  the  bosom  of  the  earl  of  Northumberland.  His 
son  had  been  slain,  his  brother  executed,  of  some  high  offices 
and  of  castles  had  he  been  deprived,  and  commissioners  had 
been  appointed  to  compound  with  his  retainers  for  their  share 
in  the  rebellion.  Such  supposed  indignities  fired  his  haughty 
spirit,  and  it  broke  forth  with  volcanic  energy.  Madly  he 
plunged  into  another  rebellion,  and  tried  again  to  act  the 
dangerous  ^art  of  a  king-maker.  In  the  summer  of  1405, 
he  joined  with  the  archbishop  of  York,  Mowbray,  and  Bar- 
dolf,  in  a  conspiracy  to  depose  King  Henry,  and  raise  the 
earl  of  March  to  the  throne.  The  archbishop  of  York  assem- 
bled an  army  of  fifteen  thousand  men  near  to  Shipton  Moor; 
but  the  earl  of  Northumberland  was  again  too  late  to  take 
part  in  the  affray.  The  earl  of  Westmoreland,  with  a  small 
army  came  sudde  ily  upon  the  enemy,  and,  by  a  dishonour- 
able and  treacherous  scheme,  contrived  to  scatter  their  army 
and  seize  upon  the  leaders,  who  were  immediately  executed. 
For  his  treasonable  conduct,  the  lands  and  possessions  of 
the  earl  of  Northumberland  were  again  confiscated;  but 
with  his  followers  he  escaped  to  Berwick,  whence  they  made 
inroads  into  Northumberland.  The  military  force  of  York- 
shire was  summoned  to  act  against  these  rebels ;  and  with 
an  army  of  thirty-seven  thousand  men,  the  king  proceeded 
northward  to  reduce  the  castles  of  the  earl.  Prudhoe  Castle 
immediately  surrendered;  Wark worth  Castle,  which  was  well 
garrisoned  and  provisioned,  refusing  to  yield,  and  the  captain 
declaring  he  would  defend  it  for  the  earl,  artiUery  was  brought 
to  bear  against  it,  and  with  so  much  skill,  that  at  the  seventh 
discharge  the  besieged  implored  for  mercy ;  and  on  the  Ist 
of  July  the  castle  was  delivered  up.*    Alnwick  Castle  was 

*  Froc.  aud  Ord.  of  Privy  Council,  I. 

Digitized  by 



summoned  by  the  king^  but  the  captains^  Henry  Percy^  of 
Atholj  and  William  CUflFord,  replied  —  **  Wynne  Berwick 
ones  and  you  shall  have  your  entent."*  The  king  passed  on 
to  Berwick^  which  Sir  William  Grraystock  attempted  to  hold, 
but  the  first  shot  from  a  cannon  of  large  bore  demolished 
part  of  a  tower,  and  caused  such  consternation,  that  the  gar- 
rison surrendered.  Before  this  was  accomplished,  the  earl 
of  Northumberland  and  Bardolf,  taking  with  them  the  son 
of  Hotspur,  had  fled  for  refuge  into  Scotland.  The  king 
proceeded  no  further  northward,  but,  on  his  return,  Alnwick 
Castle  was  yielded  to  him  without  resistance,  the  garrison 
being  allowed  to  depart  with  their  horses  and  harness. 

Anxious  to  lay  hold  of  so  troublesome  an  enemy  as  North- 
umberland, the  king  offered  to  restore  to  liberty  the  prisoners 
taken  at  Homildon,  if  their  friends  would  seize  and  deliver 
to  him  Northumberland  and  Bardolf;  but  both  of  them 
escaped  into  Wales,  where  for  a  time,  they  joined  Owen 
Glendower,  who  was  still  struggling  for  the  independence  of 
Wales.  Northumberland  afterwards  appears  to  have  spent 
an  unsettled  life,  always  hoping  for  some  event  favourable 
to  his  rebellious  purposes.  He  crossed  over  to  France  and 
thence  to  Flanders  to  seek  support ;  but  his  principal  haunts 
were  along  the  borders.  For  the  last  time,  in  1409,  the 
aged  earl,  along  with  his  friend  Bardolf,  accompanied  by 
a  few  Scots  and  many  of  his  own  retainers,  raised  the  standard 
of  rebellion,  and  penetrated  as  far  southward  as  Knares- 
borough.  At  Thirsk  he  published  a  proclamation  somewhat 
in  a  royal  style — "That  he  came  to  relieve  the  English 
nation  from  many  unjust  oppressions,  and  required  all  per- 
sons that  loved  the  liberty  of  their  country  to  resort  to  him 
immediately  with  their  weapons  and  armour  to  assist  him.** 
This  was  a  rash  and  foolish  enterprise,  and  Fordun  accounts 
for  it  by  stating,  that  Sir  Thomas  Rokesby,  one  of  his  vassals, 
lured  him  to  destruction  by  advising  him  to  enter  Northum- 
berland with  a  few  men,  for  such  numbers  would  join  him 
as  to  enable  him  to  dethrone  the  king ;  meanwhile  Rokesby 
as  sheriff  of  Yorkshire  was  secretly  collecting  forces  to  oppose 
him.  This  account,  though  not  confirmed  by  English  histo- 
rians, may  be  correct.  However,  it  is  a  fact,  that  Rokesby 
attacked  the  earl's  forces  at  Bramham  Moor,  and  after  a 
sharp  conflict  slew  the  earl,  mortally  wounded  Bardolf,  and 
dispersed  their  army.     The  earl's  head,  whitened  with  age, 

•  Harding,  p.  203. 

Digitized  by 



was  struck  ofiF  and  stuck  on  a  pole^  sent  to  London  and  set  on 
London  Bridge ;  wkile  his  mangled  members  were  exposed 
at  London^  Lincoln^  Berwick^  and  Newcastle ;  after  remain- 
ing suspended  there  for  more  than  two  months^  they  were 
taken  down  by  special  precept  of  the  king^  and  interred 
by  the  earl's  mends  in  consecrated  ground.  According  to 
Peeris: — 

"  The  body  of  the  said  earle  of  Northumberland  in  Yorke  Minster  doth  lie, 
At  the  right  hand  of  the  high  altar,  right  honourably." 

Of  Hotspur  he  says : — 

*'  In  Yorke  Minster  this  most  honourable  knight 
By  the  first  earle  his  &ther  lyeth  openly  in  sight" 

The  earl  was  thrice  married ;  first  to  Elizabeth,  daughter 
and  heir  of  the  earl  of  Angus;  and  through  her  he  came  into 
possession  of  the  lordship  of  Prudhoe;  she  died  without 
issue.    Peeris  says  : — 

"  But  or  these  marriages  were  made  completely^ 
£lif  abeth  departed  a  virgin  to  God's  mercy." 

His  second  wife  was  Margaret,  daughter  of  Ralph  Lord 
Neville,  and  by  her  he  had  issue  three  sons  Henry  Hotspur, 
Sir  Thomas,  and  Sir  Balph.  For  his  third  wife,  he  took 
Maud,  sister  and  heir  to  Anthony  Lord  Lucy,  widow  of 
Gilbert  de  XJmfraville,  earl  of  Angus,  and  mother  of  Eliza- 
beth, his  first  wife ;  by  her  he  had  no  issue.  Through  a 
very  extraordinary  settlement,  he  became  lord  of  Cocker- 
mouth,  and  possessor  of  the  estates  of  the  Lucys.  This 
settlement  is  recorded  on  the  Fine  Roll,  8  Richard  II.,  1384; 
and  with  this  agrees  Peeris*  account : — 

**  And  by  the  said  Maud  forthwithall 
The  lord  Lucy  lands  by  her  guift  came  to  him  all. 
The  said  Lady  Maud  Lucy  as  I  understand. 

Married  herself  conditionally  to  the  aforesaid 
Seaventh  Henry,  first  earle  of  Korthumbarland, 
As  to  say  that  the  Lord  Pearcy  should  beare  continually 
The  blew  lion  and  the  Lucies  silver  in  his  armes  quarterly, 
Her  name  hee  might  not  take,  issue  none  had  shee ; 
Therefore  she  did  bind  him  to  bear  her  armes,  as  in  his  armes  yee  may  see. 
The  honour  of  Cockermouth  came  by  her,  shee  gaye  it  freely 

To  him  and  to  his  heires  as  by  the  lawe  shee  might, 
Bearinge  the  foresaid  armes  of  her  in  memory, 
With  the  blew  lyon,  the  Biaband  armes  quarterly." 

The  Percy  and  Lucy  arms  after  this  were  combined,  viz. : — 
Or,  a  lion  rampant,  azure  quarterly  with  those  of  Lucy, 

Digitized  by 




viz. : — OuleSy  three  lucies,  argent,  or  pike  fish ;  these  appear 
in  Hotspur's  seal — Fig.  16,  p.  170. 

In  this  earl's  time,  we  first  meet  with  the  Percy  motto 
Esperance,  which  was  used  as  a  war  cry  at  the  battle  of 
Shrewsbury,  where  Hotspur  was  slain.  Here  too,  first 
appear  the  two  Percy  badges,  the  crescent  and  the  locket, 
which  are  usually  combined.  *'It  seems  probable"  Mr, 
Longstaffe  remarks, "  that  the  crescent  has  a  reference  to  the 
earldom  of  Northumberland.  The  other  badge  has  been 
firequently  named  fetterlocks,  gyves,  shackles,  and  manacles; 
but  it  more  correctly  designate  a  locket.  A  crescent  nearly 
surrounding  a  castle^  appears  on  the  earl's  shrievalty  seal  in 
lS96.'f—(Capheaton  Archives). 


•  Longstaflb's  Old  Heraldry  of  the  Percys,  pp.  178, 180. 

Digitized  by 





The  vast  estates  of  the  first  earl  of  Northumberland,  were 
in  consequence  of  his  rebellion,  confiscated,  and  bestowed 
by  the  lung  on  his  son,  John  of  Lancaster,  the  duke  of 
Bedford,  with  the  exception  of  Spofibrd,  which  was  given  to 
Bokeby,  the  sheriff  of  Yorkshire.* 

Henry  Percy,  the  son  of  Hotspur,  who,  but  for  this  con- 
fiscation, would  have  been  heir  to  tibe  barony  of  Alnwick, 
was  bom  on  the  Srd  of  February,  1898.  His  mother  was 
Elizabeth,  the  eldest  daughter  of  Edmund  Mortimer,  earl  of 
March — she  whose  deep  affection  for  her  husband  Shakespeare 
has  immortalised : — 

"  So  came  I  a  widow. 
And  never  thall  have  length  of  life  enough 
To  lain  upon  lemembnnce  with  mine  eyes, 
That  it  may  grow  and  sprout  as  high  as  heaT'n, 
For  recordation  to  my  noble  husband." 

•  CaL  Rot,  6  Hen.  IV.,  m.  10. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


When  only  twelre  yean  of  age,  young  Henry  was  taken 
by  his  grandmther  into  Scotland,  where  he  was  placed  under 
the  care  of  Henry  Wardlaw,  the  hospitable  bishop  of  St. 
Andrew's,  along  with  James,  the  son  of  the  king  of  Scotland.* 
Collins  says,  that  when  Henry  was  sailing  with  James  to 
France  to  be  educated  at  the  French  court,  storms  drore 
the  vessel  ashore  at  Flamborough  Head;  the  Scottish  prince 
being  recognised,  both  were  made  prisoners  and  conveyed  to 
the  king  of  England  at  Windsor ;  and  so  favourably  was  the 
prince  of  Wales  impressed  with  Henry  Percy,  that  it  led  to 
the  restoration  of  his  honours  and  estates.      If,  however, 

Joong  Percy  was  at  this  time  at  the  English  court,  he  must 
ave  returned  to  Scotland;  for  on  bemg  restored  to  his 
estates  he  came -to  England  as  a  liberated  captive.  Much 
there  is  to  admire  in  the  character  of  Henry  Y.;  besides  being 
a  great  warrior,  he  was  chivalrous  and  kind,  and  in  his  treat- 
ment of  Percy  we  see  both  wisdom  and  generosity ;  for  he 
secured  by  this  a  faithful  subject,  and  firml]^  attached  the 
house  of  Percy  to  the  interests  of  his  own  family. 

In  1414,  the  king,  even  while  Henry  was  a  captive  in 
Scotland,  restored  to  him  the  dignity  of  earl  of  Northumber- 
land. Ailer  this,  in  the  same  year,  a  humble  petition  was 
presented  to  parliament  by  Henry  Percy,  setting  forth — 

**  That  bein^  within  age  and  a  prisoner  in  Scotland,  the  king 
had  enabled  him  to  be  earl  of  Nordiumberland,  notwithstanding 
any  the  forfeiture  of  Henry,  his  flftther,  or  Henry,  hii^  grand- 
fa&er;  he  therefore  prayem  a  general  restitution  to  tl^m  in 
blood,  and  to  all  their  hereditaments,  which  were  entailed,  with 
free  eotiy  into  all  the  same ;  saving  to  the  king  all  the  lands  in 
fee  simple.  Thereupon  the  king  granted  him  all  he  requested, 
so  as  he  the  said  Henry,  before  lus  entry  into  any  of  the  said 
lands  do  first,  by  matter  of  record  prove  in  the  chanoeiy  the  lands 
entailed  saving  as  befbre."f 

Henry,  however,  still  remained  prisoner  in  Scotland  till 
1415,  when  he  was  liberated  in  exchange  for  Murdock 
Stewart,  who  had*  been  taken  prisoner  at  Homildon.  The 
duke  of  Bedford  yielded  up  the  Percv  estates  of  which  he 
had  possession;  but  the  king  to  reconcile  him  to  this  generous 
act,  granted  to  him  an  annuity  of  three  thousana  marks, 
until  lands  of  equivalent  value  should  be  settled  upon  him. 
At  the  parliament  held  in  March,  Henry  Percy  did  homage 
to  the  king  in  presence  of  the  peers  and  commons ;  and  to 

•  Fordan,  1.  XT.,  c  18, 19.  f  Collina,  V.,  p.  385. 


Digitized  by 



confirm  his  dignity  as  earl^  the  king  granted  a  formal  charter 
of  creation  and  a  fee  of  £20  per  annum^  Nomine  Cbmitis, 
out  of  the  profits  of  the  county. 

The  new  earl,  now  warmly  attached  to  his  king,  entered 
with  zeal  into  border  warfare ;  for  Northumberland  was  still 
the  chief  barrier  which  arrested  the  surgings  of  Scottish 
hostility.  The  famous  battle  of  Agincourt  had  been  won  by 
English  valour ;  and  Henry  Y.  was  using  all  his  efforts  to 
gain  the  crown  of  France.  Before  setting  out  on  his  second 
expedition,  such  was  his  confidence  in  Earl  Percy,  that  he 
made  him  general  warden  of  the  marches  of  Scotland,  and 
empowered  him  to  conclude  a  truce  with  the  Scots,  who 
notwithstanding  this  endeavoured  to  take  advantage  of  the 
king's  absence,  and  imder  the  duke  of  Albany,  advanced 
towards  Jedburgh  and  defeated  a  body  of  EngUsh  troops. 
Great  aimies  were  in  consequence  marshalled ;  but  no  gen- 
eral engagement  took  place,  though  the  coimtry  on  both 
sides  of  the  border  was  ravaged  and  destroyed.  When  the 
king  set  forth  on  his  last  expedition  to  France,  the  earl  was 
again  entrusted  with  the  defence  of  the  borders  and  the  cus- 
tody of  Berwick ;  and  for  the  latter  duty  he  had  to  receive 
£5000  annually  in  time  of  war,  but  half  that  sum  in  time  of 
peace  or  truce.  After  the  death  of  Henry  V.  the  earl  con- 
tinued to  be  engaged  in  these  services  and  was  paid  for  them; 
in  1422,  it  was  agreed  in  a  full  parliament,  that  the  earl  of 
Northumberland  should  be  paid  one  thousand  marks  for  the 
custody  of  Berwick  and  the  East  March,  and  Sir  Richard 
Neville  five  hundred  marks  for  the  custodv  of  the  West 
March  toward  Scotland.*  In  1428,  out  of  ten  thousand 
pounds,  the  ransom  paid  by  the  king  of  Scotland,  two  thou- 
sand pounds  were  given  to  the  earl  of  Northumberland, 
warden  of  the  East  March  and  captain  of  the  castle  and  town 
of  Berwick,  for  the  wages  of  himself  and  his  men.f 

In  the  course  of  the  mutual  agressions  which  were  made 
in  the  border-land,  the  town  of  Alnwick  suffered  severely, 
and  was  burnt  by  the  Scots,  to  whose  ravages  it  was  exposed 
from  being  without  walls  and  defences  of  its  own,  and  '^  open 
to  the  marches  and  frontiers  of  Scotland."  A  truce,  how- 
ever, was  made  in  1424 ;  two  of  the  English  commissioners 
negotiating  it,  being  the  earl  of  Northumberland  and  William 
Alnwick,  keeper  of  the  privy  seal. 

•  Pro.  and  Ord.  of  Privy  Council,  III.,  p.  8. 
t  Ibid.,  p.  802. 

Digitized  by 



Comparative  quiet  reigned  along  the  borders  till  1436, 
when  war  broke  out  again.  With  a  body  of  four  thousand 
men,  the  earl  of  Northumberland  advanced  towards  Scot- 
land ;  but  he  was  met,  on  the  7th  of  September,  by  William 
Douglas,  earl  of  Angus,  with  a  Scottish  army  of  about  the 
same  number,  at  Piperden,*  on  the  Breamish,  among  the 
Cheviot  hills.  A  fierce  battle  was  fought,  and  the  English 
were  signally  defeated.  Alexander  Elphinston,  a  distin- 
guished warrior,  fell  on  the  Scotch  side,  with  about  two 
hundred  more;  but  the  English  loss  was  more  serious,  fifteen 
hundred  being  slain,  among  whom  were  Sir  Richard  Percy 
and  Henry  Clennel.  Fordun  is  the  only  ancient  author  who 
mentions  this  battle;  which,  however,  derives  interest,  as 
probably  being  the  conflict,  of  which  floating  traditions  sup- 
plied the  materials  to  the  minstrel,  who  sung  the  romantic 
ballad  of  Chevy  Chace — ^a  story  which  has  oftentimes  roused 
the  Northumbrian  heart  as  "  with  the  sound  of  a  trumpet." 
The  heroes  in  both  are  the  Percy  and  the  Douglas,  and  the 
scene  lies  among  the  Cheviots. 

During  the  years  1442  and  1448,  there  were  serious  riots 
in  Yorkshire  and  other  counties,  dangerous  to  the  govern- 
nient,  arising  out  of  popular  discontent  with  the  war  in 
France,  which  had  drained  the  country  of  its  wealth  and 
population.  Great  numbers  had  assembled  in  Yorkshire, 
pulling  down  houses,  breaking  into  parks,  destroying  water 
mills,  assaulting  servants,  and  even  threatening  to  attack 
the  residence  of  the  archbishop,  who  had  issued  processes 
against  the  laity  for  spiritual  offences.  The  earl  of  Northum- 
berland was  charged  with  having  caused  these  Yorkshire 
riots  by  a  letter  written  by  him  to  his  officers  in  the  north, 
and  the  archbishop  desired  that  the  earl  might  be  examined 
in  this  matter  before  the  Privy  Council.  The  charge  was 
referred  to  the  arbitration  of  certain  peers,  who  decided  that 
all  damage  which  had  been  done  to  the  archbishop's  property* 
should  be  repaired  by  the  earlf — ^thus  casting  reproach  upon 

Shortly  after  the  death  of  Robert  II.,  king  of  Scotland,  a 
truce  was  concluded,  which  lasted  till  1448,  when  through 
the  ambition  and  turbulence  of  the  border  chieftains,  war 
recommenced.  Scottish  historians  throw  the  blame  on  the 
English  for  this  breach.  The  earl  of  Northumberland  in- 
vaded Scotland  on  the  east  side  and  burnt  Dumfries.   Alnwick 

•  Fordun,  1.  XVI.,  c.  25,  p.  500. 
t  Proc.  and  Ord.  of  Prity  Council,  V.,  pp.  27S-276 ;  30». 

Digitized  by 



sufEered  for  tlus  aggression ;  walls  and  towers  had  not 
yet  been  raised  for  its  defence.  James  Douglas^  lord  of 
belveny^  '^not  willing  to  be  in  ane  Englisch  mane's  commoun* 
for  ane  erill  turne^  gathered  ane  companie  and  brunt  Annick'; 
out  of  the  quhilk  he  gathered  ane  great  prey  both  of  men 
and  guides."t  Alnwick  Castle  seems  to  have  escaped  Scot- 
tish vengeance,  probably  on  account  of  its  strength;  for  it  had 
been  embattled  by  the  earl,  with  the  king's  authority,  in  14M. 

When  attempting  to  revenge  these  injuries,  the  earl  of 
Northumberland  suffered  a  serious  defeat.  With  a  numerous 
army  he  invaded  Scotland,  but  was  met  at  the  river  Sark  in 
Annandale,  by  a  Scottish  array  led  by  Hugh,  earl  of  Ormand ; 
a  bloody  battle  was  fought,  and  the  English  were  completely 
routed.  Six  hundred  Scots  fell ;  but  the  loss  of  the  English 
was  three  thousand  men,  many  of  whom,  in  attempting  to 
escape,  were  drowned  in  the  Solway.  The  earl  of  Northum- 
berland was  in  great  danger  of  being  slain  or  captured ;  but 
his  son,  Lord  Percy,  hastened  to  his  support,  and  gallantly 
rescued  his  father,  though  he  himself  was  taken  prisoner. 
This  warfEure  was  soon  brought  to  a  close,  as  it  was  agreeable 
neither  to  the  king  of  England  nor  the  king  of  Scotland; 
and  a  peace  was  established,  of  which  the  earl  was  one  of 
the  conservators. 

Besides  being  engaged  in  all  the  more  important  affairs  of 
the  borders,  the  earl  at  intervals  performed  other  public 
duties.  In  1417  he  accompanied  his  sovereign  to  the  French 
wars ;  in  1419  he  was  commissioned  to  array  the  northern 
forces  to  resist  a  threatened  invasion  of  England  by  the  king 
of  Castile.  For  his  good  services  in  Scotland,  the  king 
granted  him  £100  per  annum  during  his  life,  payable  out 
of  the  lordship  of  Bradwell  in  Essex ;  in  1428,  he  had  the 
honourable  appointment  of  ambassador  to  the  general  council 
at  Paris,  and  for  this  service,  the  treasurer  of  the  Exchequer 
-  was  ordered  to  pay  him  in  advance  £606  13s.  4d.,  being  a 
year's  salary  at  sixty-six  shillings  and  eightpence  per  diem ; 
and  later  in  life  he  was  appointed  constable  of  England. 

The  early  part  of  1453  witnessed  the  commencement  of 
the  long  and  destructive  struggle  between  the  houses  of 
Lancaster  and  York,  for  the  possession  of  the  English  throne; 
Before  it  was  ended,  most  of  the  barons  and  leading  men  of 
the  kingdom  perished  either  on  the  battle  field  or  on  the 
scaffold.     Honourable  it  is  to  the  earl  of  Northumberland, 

<  To  he  in  one^t  comnum^  to  be  obliged  to  one.    Scotcb — Jamietoiu 
f  PitBcottie*s  Cbron.,  p.  63, 

Digitized  by 


SECOND^  THIRD5   AKD  F0t7BTH  EABL9.  181 

that  he  forgot  not  his  obligations  to  Heniy  Y.^  bat  remained 
fiuthful  throughout  his  whole  life^  and  at  last  died  in  defence 
of  his  son.  So  faithful  and  diligent  had  he  been  in  defending 
the  borders,  that  Henry  VI.  in  1455,  in  a  letter,  thanked 
the  earl  "for  the  effectual  devoir,  diligence,  labour,  and  payn 
yat  ye  have  put  you  in  aswel  in  vitailling  oure  towne  and 
castell  of  Berwyk,  as  resisting  the  malice  of  our  enemies."* 

Gentle  and  pious  was  Henry  VI.,  but  undoubtedly  of  weak 
intellect,  and  utterly  incapable  of  ruling  a  turbulent  people. 
During  his  feeble  government,  Normandy  and  Guienne  were 
lost  to  England ;  a  result  sufficient  in  itself  to  create  dis- 
satisfaction among  a  people  fond  of  warlike  triumphs ;  but 
the  arbitrary  and  violent  measures  of  the  queen  and  her 
favourites,  who,  indeed,  held  the  reins  of  real  power,  brought 
odium  and  distrust  on  the  government.  The  duke  of  York, 
according  to  the  principles  of  succession,  as  defined  in  modern 
times,  had  claims  on  the  throne,  and  the  prevailing  discon- 
tent encouraged  in  him  the  desire  to  become  the  king  of 
England.  He  was,  however,  a  cautious  and  moderate  man 
in  action ;  and  his  first  steps,  in  the  way  of  rebellion,  were 
professedly  to  remove  the  queen  and  the  duke  of  Somerset 
from  the  administration  of  public  affairs.  In  1455  the  first 
blood  was  drawn  in  this  great  contest.  The  duke  of  York 
led  an  army  against  the  king,  who  had  marched  from  West- 
minster with  his  forces,  and  was  occupying  St.  Alban's.  On 
the  morning  of  the  22nd  of  May  a  great  battle  was  fought, 
and  the  Lancastrians  were  defeated.  The  king  was  wounded 
and  taken ;  and  among  the  slain  was  the  earl  of  Northum- 
berland.    Thus  sings  Peeris — 

"  In  his  (mid  age  at  St  Alban's,  intendinge  his  prince  to  save, 
Henry  the  sixt,  alas  I  hee  was  slain,  and  there  lyeth  in  his  grave." 

He  was  buried  in  the  Chapel  of  Our  Ladv,  in  the  Abbey 
Church  of  St.  Alban's,  along  with  several  otlier  noblemen  of 
the  Lancastrian  party,  who  fell  in  that  battle.  His  effigy,  robed 
in  the  mantle  of  a  peer,  is  on  the  tower  of  Beverley  Minster. 

He  was  a  noble  man ;  his  character  stands  out  in  bold 
relief,  distingpuished  for  honour  and  faithfulness ;  and  by  men 
in  these  civilised  times,  he  will  be*  held  in  high  respect  for 
his  patronage  of  learning.  In  1442,  he  gave  the  advowson 
of  the  church  of  Hamcliffe  and  three  acres  of  land  lying 
within  the  precincts  of  that  manor  to  the  master  and  scholars 
of  the  University  College,  Oxford. 

•  Pro.  and  Ord.  of  Privy  Council,  VI.,  p.  298. 

Digitized  by 




He  was  married  to  Eleanor,  daughter  of  Halpli  Neville,  earl 
of  Westmoreland,  and  widow  of  Lord  Spencer ;  and  by  her  he 
had  nine  sons  and  three  daughters.  Three  of  his  sons  died 
during  his  lifetime ;  his  fourth  son,  Henry,  succeeded  to  the  earl- 
dom ;  his  fifth  son.  Sir  Thomas  Percy,  bom  at  Leckenfield,  was 
created  earl  of  Effremont,  and  was  slain  at  the  battle  of  North- 
ampton in  1460;  his  sixth  son,  George  Percy,  became  prebendary 
of  fieverley  and  rector  of  Eothbury  and  Coldebeck ;  his  seventh 
son,  Sir  Ealph  Percy,  bom  on  the  11th  of  August,  1425,  was 
slain  in  1464  at  Hedgeley  Moor ;  Sir  Bichard,  his  eighth  son, 
fell  on  Towton  field  in  1461 ;  and  William,  the  ninth  son,  became 
bishop  of  Carlisle,  and  died  in  1462. 

Arms. — Percy  and  Lucy  quarterly. 

Crest. — On  a  chapeau,  a  lion  statant  tail  drooping. 

Supporters. — Two  lions  rampant. 

Seal  of  Henry,  earl  of  Northumberland  and  lord  of  the 
honour  of  Cockermouth,  in  1435. 

Fia  IS 

Digitized  by 



Badges. — A  lion  rampant ^  on  the  keep  of  Warkworth  Castle; 
a  lion  rampant  between  the  horns  of  a  crescent y  with  the 
motto  EsperancCy  on  a  house  in  Bondgate,  Alnwick.  To 
the  time  of  this  earl  may  prohahly  be  referred  the  cres- 
cent and  lockets  on  one  of  the  capitals  in  the  chancel  of 
Alnwick  Church. 

na  iQ  na  20 

Fig.  19. 
A  crescent  enclosing  a  sprig  of  leaves  in  flowery  with  the 
motto  Pesperance;  the  signet  of  the  countess  of  Northumber- 
land to  a  letter  from  Warkworth. 

Fig,  20. 
A  lion  sejant  guardanty  gorged  with  the  crescenty  with  the 
motto  Je  espoyr  ;  the  signet  of  the  earl. 


Henry  Percy,  who  was  bom  at  Leckenfield  on  the  25th  of 
July,  1421,  was  above  thirty-three  years  of  age  at  the  time  of 
his  father's  death.  When  a  child  of  about  two  years  old,  he 
was  knighted  by  the  duke  of  Bedford,  the  same  cUgnity  being 
then  conferred  on  the  young  king  Henry  VI.  In  the  year 
1441,  he  was  made  governor  of  the  town  and  castle  of 
Berwick  and  warden  of  the  East  Marches;  and  for  this 
service  it  was  agreed  that  he  should  be  paid  in  time  of  war 
£5000  yearly,  and  in  time  of  peace  £2500;  and  for  the 
custody  of  the  castle  £500  yearly  in  time  of  war,  and  one 
hundred  marks  in  time  of  truce  or  peace.  Eleven  years 
afterwards  the  terms  were  altered ;  and  it  was  agreed  that 
for  this  charge  he  should  receive  £2566  ISs.  4d.,  both  in  time 
of  peace  and  war. 

He  married,  in  the  year  1446,  Eleanor,  the  daughter  and 
sole  heir  of  Eichard,  who  was  son  and  heir  of  Eobert  Lord 
Poynings.  Eichard  having  died  before  his  father.  Sir  Henry 
Percy  on  the  death  of  Eobert  Lord  Poynin^,  in  right  of  his 
wife,  succeeded  to  the  three  baronies  of  r oynings,  Fitz-Payne, 

Digitized  by 


184  HI8T0BT  OF  ALH^ICK. 

and  Bryan ;  and  in  the  same  year  had  special  livery  of  the 
castles^  manors^  and  lands  belonging  to  these  baronies.  He 
was  summoned  to  parliament  on  December  14thy  1446^  as 
Baron  Poynings,  Bryan,  and  Fitz-Payne,  being  styled  in  the 
writ,  Henricus  Percy  de  Poynings,  chevalier  ;  and  with  this 
title  he  continued  to  attend  other  parliaments,  till  he  suc- 
ceeded in  1455  to  the  earldom  of  Northumberland. 

As  these  titles  are  still  affected  by  the  Percy  family,  a 
brief  notice  of  the  descent  may  be  given. 

Adam  de  Poyning,  in  the  reign  of  Henry  II.,  was  inpos- 
session  of  Poynings  in  Suffolk ;  and  according  to  the  Testa 
de  Neville,  Thomas  de  Poynings  held  ten  kmghts'  fees  in 
Poynings.  Richard,  who  in  succession  held  the  barony  in 
the  time  of.  Bichard  II.,  married  Isabella,  daughter  bf  Sir 
Richard  de  Grey — then  called  Fitz-Payne ;  and  through  her 
added  the  Fitz-Payne  and  part  of  the  Bryan  estates  to  his 

The  family  of  Fitz-Payne  originated  with  Payne  Fitz- John, 
the  brother  of  Eustace  Fitz-John,  who  held  the  barony  of 
Alnwick;  and  so  extensive  were  the  estates,  that  in  the  reigns 
of  John  and  Henry  III.  they  paid  scutage  on  fifteen  knights' 
fees.  But  Robert  Fitz-Payne,  to  whom  they  descended^ 
having  no  male  issue,  entailed  his  estates  in  about  1323  on 
Robert  de  Grey  of  Codnor,  who  took  the  name  and  arms  of 
Fitz-Payne,  and  was  the  husband  of  Elizabeth  Bryan. 

The  Bryan  &mily  first  appear  as  having  estates  on  the 
Welsh  borders ;  and  one  of  them.  Sir  Guy  Bryan,  was  a 
distinguished  warrior,  being  standard  bearer  to  Edward  III. 
in  the  notable  fight  with  the  French  at  Calais.  Elizabeth, 
his  daughter,  married  Sir  Robert  Fitz-Payne,  and  was  the 
ancestress  of  Eleanor,  the  wife  of  Sir  Henry  Percy. 

There  appears,  therefore,  no  inheritance  of  blood  by  the 
Percys  from  the  old  Fitz-Paynes,  but  there  is  a  blood  descent 
both  firom  the  Bryans  and  Poynings.  At  a  subsequent 
period,  there  appeared  four  different  claimants  to  the  Bryan 
estates;  and  after  a  legal  contest  of  thirty  years,  it  was 
agreed  that  all  the  claimants  should  have  some  of  the  estates, 
but  that  ^'  the  earl  of  Northumberland  is,  and  ought  to  be 
taken  and  reputed  as  heir  general  to  Sir  Guy  de  Brien." 
''  This  would  give  him,"  says  Mr.  Longstaffe,  "  an  exclusive 
right  to  bear  the  Bryan  arms."* 

*  S«e  documents  nUtive  to  tbeoe  fiimilies,  CoU.  Top.  and  Gen.,  p.  250;  and 
tm  a  saceinot  statement,  Longstaift's  Old  Hetaldry»  p.  189. 

Digitized  by 



Two  y«ars  after  Ms  succession,  he  obtained  livery  of  all 
land,  without  any  inquisition  taken  for  proof  of  age ;  and  he 
was  discharged  of  his  relief  in  consideration  of  his  good  ser- 
vices on  the  borders.  During  his  brief  career  after  this,  he 
not  only  actively  engaged  in  border  warfare,  but  most  ener- 
getically supported  the  king  in  the  great  conflict  between 
the  rival  Lancastrian  and  York  parties. 

Through  the  influence  of  the  earl  of  Douglas,  who  was 
plotting  against  his  own  country,  the  peace  between  England 
eind  Scotland  was  at  this  time  broken.  Dreading  invasion, 
the  Scots  adopted  vigorous  measures;  watchmen  were  placed 
at  the  fords  and  at  other  places  between  Roxburgh  and  Ber- 
wick, to  give  warning  of  the  approach  of  enemies ;  and  fires 
were  ready  to  be  kindled  on  the  hills  to  spread  the  alarm, 
and  summon  forces  to  meet  the  foe.  Despite  of  these  and 
other  preparations,  Earl  Douglas,  assisted  by  the  earl  of 
Northumberland,  made  an  incursion  in  1456  with  a  consider- 
able body  of  Englishmen  into  the  merse  of  Berwickshire, 
and  plundered  and  destroyed  wherever  they  went.  While, 
however,  their  forces  were  scattered  over  the  district,  engaged 
in  this  horrid  work,  the  earl  of  Angus  and  Sir  James  Murray 
suddenly  appeared  with  an  army ;  the  English  were  totally 
defeated;  numbers  were  slain,  and  seven  hundred  were  taken 
prisoners ;  many,  however,  escaped  to  England  laden  with 

Though  victory  crowned  the  arms  of  the  duke  of  York  at 
St.  Alban's  he  yet  acted  with  moderation,  and  seemed  con- 
tented with  being  made  protector  of  the  kingdom.  Through 
the  art  of  the  queen,  however,  his  commission  was  revoked 
by  the  peers ;  and  chagrined  with  this  treatment  he  assumed 
a  hostile  attitude,  and  as  no  reconciliation  could  be  eflected, 
appeal  was  again  made  to  the  sword.  Faithful  to  his  party, 
the  earl  of  Northumberland  fought  by  the  side  of  the  king 
at  the  battle  of  Northampton  in  1460,  when  the  Lancastrians 
were  defeated  and  the  king  was  taken  prisoner.  Boldly  now 
the  duke  of  York  claimed  the  crown ;  but  after  long  argu- 
ments were  heard  befofe  parliament  in  favour  of  and  against 
the  claim,  a  compromise  was  adopted — that  Henry  should 
continue  king  during  his  life,  and  that  the  duke  of  York  or 
his  heir  should  after  Henry's  death  succeed  to  the  crown, 
Margaret,  the  heroic  queen,  was,  however,  free;  and  she 
would  not  sacrifice  the  rights  of  her  son,  but  actively  excited 

*  HoliDgshead. 


Digitized  by 


186  .       "         HISTORY   OP   ALNWICK. 

her  friends  to  take  up  arms  in  support  of  her  family.  PubKc 
feeling  ran  strongly  m  favour  of  one  or  the  other  party ;  and 
the  whole  nation^  interested  in  the  struggle,  was  arrayed  in 
two  divisions,  one  distinguished  by  the  red  rose — the  badge 
of  the  house  of  Lancaster,  and  the  other  by  the  white  rose — 
the  badge  of  the  house  of  York. 

Around  the  standard  of  the  queen  gathered  the  men  of  the 
north ;  the  earl  of  Northumberland  with  all  his  vassals  was 
there ;  and  a  royal  army  numbering  twenty  thousand  men 
marched  southward.  To  meet  this  formidable  array,  the 
duke  of  York  set  off  from  London  with  only  five  thousand 
men.  Near  to  Wakefield  a  battle  was  fought  in  1461,  when 
the  Yorkists  were  defeated,  the  duke  himself  and  two  thous- 
and eight  hundred  of  Ids  men  slain,  and  almost  all  the  rest 
taken  prisoners.  While  indebted  to  the  valour  of  the  northern 
troops,  the  royal  cause  suffered  from  their  lawless  conduct. 
They  brought  with  them  their  border  character ;  and  as  they 
advanced  they  plundered  and  burnt  churches,  monasteries, 
and  private  houses  without  distinction,  **  made  the  wealth  of 
London  look  pale,"  and  alarmed  the  people  of  the  southern 
counties,  who  appear  to  have  been  less  barbarous  than  the 
border  men.  In  the  same  year  the  Lancastrians  triumphed 
again  at  St.  Alban*s,  when  the  king  was  rescued  firom  his 
enemies ;  but  they  were  sorely  beaten  at  Mortimer's  Cross — 
such  was  the  fickle  fortune  of  war. 

The  strength  of  the  Yorkists  was  in  London  and  in  the 
southern  and  western  counties ;  and  when  the  remains  of  the 
scattered  troops  had  been  gathered  in  St.  John's  Fields,  a 
prodigious  multitude  of  citizens  came  to  view  the  scene. 
Edward,  the  son  of  the  late  duke  of  York,  taking  advantage 
of  this  favourable  opportunity,  obtained  a  call  from  this  great 
assemblage  of  people  to  assume  the  government  of  the  king- 
dom ;  and  with  the  consent  of  a  great  council  of  prelates, 
nobles,  and  others  about  London,  he,  in  1461,  ascended  the 
throne  of  England  as  Edward  IV. 

Irreconcilable  was  now  the  difference  between  the  two 
parties,  and  both  nerved  themselves  for  a  decisive  struggle. 
King  Henry  and  his  friends  retired  northward,  where  their 
chief  strength  lay.  Eager  to  avenge  the  loss  of  many  friends, 
the  earl  of  Northumberland  put  forth  his  energies,  and,  when 
all  were  assembled  at  York,  their  army  numbered  sixty  thous- 
and men.  Similar  activity  was  shewn  by  King  Edward j  and 
by  the  time  he  arrived  at  Pomfret,  he  had  under  him  a  gal- 
lant army  of  forty-eight  thousand  six  hundred  and  sixty  men. 

Digitized  by 



The  duke  of  Somerset^  commander  of  the  Lancastrian  army^ 
marched  forth  on  the  28th  of  March,  146 1,  to  meet  the 
enemy,  and  some  bloody  skirmishes  were  fought  at  the  pass 
of  Ferrybridge ;  but  the  great  conflict  took  place  on  the  next 
Palm  Sunday.  Never  were  so  many  Englishmen  marshalled 
against  each  other  in  hostile  array.  Early  in  the  morning 
the  two  armies  were  drawn  up  in  order  of  battle,  on  the 
fields  between  Saxon  and  Towton,  about  ten  miles  south  of 
York.  The  earl  of  Northumberland,  who  was  in  lusty  youth 
and  of  frank  courage,  led  the  van-guard;  but  when  the  battle 
begun,  a  heavy  storm  of  snow  blew  wildly  in  the  face  of  his 
troops  and  prevented  them  seeing  the  enemy  distinctly  and 
taking  proper  aim  with  their  arrows ;  but  the  enemy,  betng 
under  no  such  disadvantage,  poured  in  their  arrows  with 
fatal  effect  and  compelled  the  earl,  to  save  his  meo  from 
being  stricken  down  like  deer,  to  order  them  to  charge  with 
their  swords,  spears,  and  battle-axes.  A  fierce  hand  to  hand 
conflict  ensued ;  and  both  parties,  inflamed  with  the  bitterest 
animosity,  fought  for  six  hours,  when  towards  evening  the 
Lancastrians  were  totally  defeated  and  pursued  with  great 
slaughter.*  The  earl  of  Northumberland  **on  this  evil  Palm 
Sunday  "  was  among  the  slain.  This  battle-field  was  satur- 
ated with  the  blood  of  thirty-eight  thousand  Englishmen. 

By  his  wife  Eleanor  he  had  issue  one  son  and  three  daugh- 
ters. A  large  blue  marble  with  two  effigies  on  it,  and  an 
inscription  in  brass  now  erased,  in  the  north  choir  of  St. 
Denys'  Church,  Toxk,  are  supposed  to  have  been  His  tomb. 

Arms  prior  to  his  father's  death  were  Percy  and  Lucy  quar- 
terly, with  a  label  of  three  points  gules  for  difference. 
Crest. — A  golden  crescent. 

His  marriage  introduced  new  coats  into  his  heraldry ;  for 
Poynings — Six  pieces  lartoays  or  and  vert,  a  lendlet  gtdes  ; 
for  Fitz-Payne — Gules,  a  bentlet  azure  upon  three  lions  argent 
passant y  guar dant ;  and  for  Bryan — Gold,  three  blue  piles, 
conjoined  at  the  base;  owing,  however,  to  litigation,  the 
Bryan  are  not  assumed  till  the  next  generation. 

Fig.  21. 
Crest  for  Poynings. — A  black  dragorCs  head  between  its 

Fig.  22. 
Badge  for  Poynings.  —  A  key  erect,  handle  uppermost, 
crowned.    Also  a  white  unicorn. 

•  Hall's  Chronicles. 

Digitized  by 




Fig.  28. 
Badge  for  Fitz-Payne. — A  black  curved  falchion  or  scimi' 
tar,  kilted  and  tipped  gold. 





Under  tUs  earl,  the  Percy  estates  attained  their  maximnm 
of  territorial  extent;  and  probably  presented  as  large  an  area 
of  productive  lands  as  was  ever  held  by  a  British  subject.  It 
included  the  baronies^  honours^  and  manors  held  by  his  ances- 
tors— the  baronies  of  Alnwick  and  of  Prudhoe ;  the  manors 
of  Warkworth,  Corbridge,  and  Newbum ;  the  sergeantry  of 
Beanley  and  other  properties  in  Northumberland;  the  manors 
of  Topcliffe  and  Spofford,  and  eleven  other  manors  in  York- 
shire; the  honour  of  Cockermouth  and  eight  and  a  half 
manors,  and  the  fourth  part  of  the  barony  of  Egremont  in 
Cumberland ;  fifty-eight  manors  in  Lincolnshire ;  the  manor 
of  Toston  in  Leicestershire ;  two  manors  in  Essex ;  the  hon- 
our of  Petworth  in  Sussex ;  the  advowson  of  several  churches 
and  abbeys;  and  besides  these,  part  of  the  estates  of  Poynings, 
Fitz-Payne,  and  Bryan,  including  three  manors  in  Sussex, 
one  in  Suffolk,  one  in  Norfolk,  seven  in  Somerset  with  the 
hundred  of  Canyngton,  sixteen  in  Kent  with  the  hundred  of 

Digitized  by 




After  the  death  of  Henry  Percy,  the  third  earl  of  North- 
umberland, he  was  attainted  by  the  parliament  which  met 
on  NoTcmber  4th,  1461,  and  all  his  estates  were  confiscated ; 
and  on  May  28th,  1464,  the  earldom  was  conferred  by  the 
king  on  John  Neville—Lord  Montague. 

King  Henry  YL  and  his  queen,  accompanied  by  the  dukes 
of  Exeter  and  Somerset,  took  refuge  in  Scotland  after  the 
battle  of  Towton.  In  the  month  of  July,  1461,  Alnwick 
Castle  was  yielded  up  by  capitulation  to  Lord  Hasting  and 
the  garrison  were  suffered  to  go  at  their  liberty.* 

Though  defeated  in  the  field,  the  bold  spirit  of  Queen 
Margaret  was  unconquered.  She  passed  over  to  France  in 
the  following  spring  and  sought  help  from  Louis  YL ;  but 
all  she  gained  was  a  loan  of  twenty  thousand  livres,  and 
liberty  to  levy  a  small  body  of  troops,  of  which  Sir  Peter  de 
Breze,  seneschal  of  Normandy — ^^  the  best  warrior  of  all  that 
time" — took  the  command.  She  sailed  in  October,  146S, 
with  a  little  band  of  five  hundred  men  and  landed  at  Tyne- 
mouth ;  "  but  whether  afraid  of  her  own  shadow  or  that  the 
Frenchmen  cast  too  many  doubts,"  the  whole  re-embarked. 
Her  fleet  was  suddenly  overtaken  by  a  tempest ;  the  queen 
with  difficulty  escaped  in  a  coracle  to  Berwick,  and  the  other 
vessels  were  driven  ashore  by  the  "  stormy  blasts  "  at  Bam- 
burgh.  The  soldiers  set  fire  to  the  ships,  and  sought  refuge 
in  Holy  Island;  but  there  they  were  assailed  by  "the  Bastard 
Ogle  and  an  esquire  called  John  Manners,  with  other  of  the 
king's  retinue;"  and  many  were  slain,  and  near  to  three 
hundred  taken  prisoners.  Breze  with  a  few  others  escaped 
to  Berwick  in  a  fisher's  boat.f 

These  misfortunes  did  not  "in  anything  abate  the  haughty 
courage"  of  the  queen.  Leaving  her  son  Edward  in  Berwick, 
she  entered  Northumberland  with  a  great  company  of  Scots 
and  other  friends,  hoping  the  Northumbrians  would  rise  in 
her  favour;  but  few  joined  her  standard.  She,  however, 
laid  siege  to  Alnwick  Castle,  which  was  under  the  command 
of  Sir  Kalph  Grey ;  and  she  obtained  possession  of  it,  either 
through  tjbie  treachery  of  the  commander  or  from  want  of 
provisions.  Bamburgh,  Dunstanburgh,  and  Warkworth  also 
fell  into  her  hands.  Garrisons  were  placed  by  her  in  all 
these  castles.      "They  were  victualled  and  stuffed"  says 

«  Chronicles  of  Fabian.  f  Hall's  Chronicles,  p.  259, 

Digitized  by 



Warkworth,  "with  EngKshmen,  Frenchmen,  and  Scots- 

Aroused  hy  these  movements.  King  Edward  and  his  coun- 
cil raised  a  large  army  in  the  south  of  England ;  and  in  thei 
month  of  December,  1463,  commenced  the  siege  of  these 
castles.  Alnwick  Castle  was  defended  by  a  son  of  Breze  and 
Lord  Hungerford,  with  a  garrison  of  three  hundred  men ; 
Bamburgh  had  also  a  garrison  of  three  hundred  men,  headed 
by  the  duke  of  Somerset,  the  earl  of  Pembroke,  Lord  Ross, 
and  Sir  Ralph  Percy ;  and  Dunstanburgh  had  a  garrison  of 
one  hundred  and  twenty  men.  Lord  Falconbridge,  the  earl 
of  Kent,  and  Lord  Scales  conducted  the  siege  of  Alnwick ; 
the  earl  of  Worcester  and  Sir  Ralph  Grey  headed  the  besiegers 
at  Dunstanburgh,  and  Lord  Montague  and  Lord  Ogle  headed 
the  aamy  at  Bamburgh.  The  earl  of  Warwick  commanded 
the  whole,  and  his  head  quarters  were  at  Wark worth  Castle; 
but  he  rode  daily  to  all  the  castles  to  oversee  the  sieges. 
Provisions  for  the  army  and  ordnance  for  carrying  on  the 
siege,  were  sent  from  Newcastle.f  While  these  operations 
were  going  on.  King  Edward  remained  at  Durham ;  whence 
he  issued  a  mandate  on  the  last  day  of  December  to  the  arch'- 
bishop  of  York,  charging  him  to  array  all  the  clergy  of  the 
province  to  resist  the  Scots,  who  entered  his  land  to  the 
intent,  not  only  of  rescuing  his  enemies  of  France  closed 
within  his  castle  of  Alnwick,  but  also  of  giving  him  battle, 
'^  presuming  of  their  customable  pride  to  have  dominacion 
upon  our  land."J 

Sir  Peter  Breze  with  an  army  of  twenty  thousand  Scotsmen 
hastened  to  the  relief  of  these  castles;  but  when  he  advanced 
towards  Alnwick  Castle,  both  armies  were  afraid  to  meet 
each  other;  the  English  vdthdrew  from  the  siege  and  the 
Scots  had  not  the  courage  to  pursue  them ;  perceiving  this, 
the  garrison  came  out  from  the  castle  and  retired  to  Scotland 
with  the  Scottish  host  ;§  and  on  the  8th  of  January,  1463, 
the  earl  of  Warwick  took  possession  of  the  castle  on  behalf 
of  Edward  IV.  Bamburgh  was  given  up  to  Edward  by 
Henry,  duke  of  Somerset,  in  accordance  with  treaty.  The 
duke  and  Sir  Ralph  Percy  were  received  into  fevour  by 
Edward,  and  both  gave  him  their  allegiance;  to  the  duke  was 

♦  Waxkworth's  Chronicle^  p.  2.  f  P«ton  Letters,  L,  p.  273. 

%  Raxne*8  Memorials  of  Hexham,  I.,  p.  cvii. 

I  Warkfrorth's  Chionicle,  p.  2. 

Digitized  by 



granted  by  the  king  one  thousand  marks  yearly^  which,  how^ 
ever,  were  never  paid.  **  And  so  King  Edward  was  possessed 
of  all  England  except  a  castle  in  North  Wales  called  Har- 
lake.***  Sir  John  Astley  was  appointed  governor  of  both 
Alnwick  and  Bamburgh  Castles — an  honour  which  Sir  Ralph 
Grey  is  said  to  have  expected ;  and  so  mortified  was  he  at 
being  passed  over,  that  he  deserted  the  cause  of  King  Edward, 
and,  attaching  himself  to  the  Lancastrian  party,  gave  up 
Alnwick  Castle  in  May,  146S,  to  Henry  VI. 

Margaret,  the  queen,  with  all  her  faults,  was  a  heroic 
woman ;  and  when  her  adherents  were  ready  to  give  up  her 
husband's  cause  in  despair,  she  bravely  made  one  more 
attempt  to  regain  power.  In  the  spring  of  1464  she  led  into 
Northumberland  a  numerous  army  of  Scotsmen,  who  had 
been  induced,  by  the  license  she  gave  of  plundering,  to  join 
her  standard.  Sir  Ralph  Grey  took  the  castle  of  Bamburgh 
by  surprise ;  Alnwick  Castle  too,  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
queen ;  and  the  duke  of  Somerset  and  Sir  Ralph  Percy,  led 
away  by  reports  of  her  success,  deserted  Edward  and  joined 
the  queen  with  all  their  forces.  King  Henry  VI.  was  at 
Bamburgh  Castle  on  this  occasion,  for  he,  while  there  on  the 
9th  of  April,  1464,  granted  a  charter  to  the  biu>gesses  of 

Sir  John  Neville,  Lord  Montague,  who  had  been  appointed 
warden  of  the  Eastern  Marches,  displayed  at  this  crisis  great 
vigilance  and  bravery.  On  the  2Srd  of  April,  1464,  he  en- 
countered a  party  of  Henry's  forces,  led  by  Sir  Ralph  Percy 
and  the  Lords  Hungerford  and  Ross,  on  Hedgeley  Moor,  at 
the  eastern  base  of  the  Cheviots,  about  ten  miles  westward 
of  Alnwick.  Either  from  treachery  or  fear,  Hungerford  and 
Ross  deserted  at  the  onset  of  the  battle.  Bravely,  however, 
did  Sir  Ralph  Percy  meet  his  opponents ;  but  his  little  army 
weakened  by  this  desertion  was  defeated ;  he  himself  was 
slain,  and  while  dying  exclaimed — ^'  I  have  saved  the  bird 
in  my  bosom ;"  meaning  says  Hall,  that  he  had  kept  his 
promise  and  oath  to  King  Henry  VI. ;  forgetting  that  he  in 
King  Henry's  most  necessity  abandoned  him  and  submitted 
to  King  Edward. 

A  writer  in  the  Arch^Bologia  ^liana  contends  that  this 
exclamation  had  reference  to  the  queen's  safety,  and  not  to 
his  own  loyalty  ;  for  as  Hall  intimates  he  could  not  boast  of 

♦  Warkworth'B  Chronicle,  p.  2. 
t  This  Charter  is  among  the  CoiiK>ntioii  MmumentB.  ^ 

Digitized  by 



his  faithfulness.  Prohahly,  however^  the  expression  was  partly 
allusive  to  the  craven  desertion  of  Hungerford  and  Ross ; 
and  mingled  with  this  might  be  regret  for  his  own  temporary 
unfaithfulness ;  and  as  he  fell  bravely  fighting,  while  his 
colleagues  had  disgracefully  fled,  he  might  feel,  in  his  last 
moments,  that  the  sacrifice  of  his  life  vindicated  his  honour. 

Percy's  Cross  commemorating  his  fall  stands,  though  worn 
by  time,  on  the  battle  field,  about  fifty  yards  eastward  of  the 
turnpike  road  between  Whittingham  and  Wooler.  It  is  a 
square  sandstone  pillar  with  the  edges  cut  off.  On  the  four 
principal  sides  are  sculptured  crescents,  lucies,  and  fusils, 
differently  arranged  on  each ;  and  on  the  truncated  corners 
are  lockets ;  all  these  are  badges  of  the  house  of  Percy. 
**  This  cross"  says  a  writer  in  the  "Antiquarian  Repository," 
"  was  erected  on  the  spot  where  he  fell  to  remind  passengers 
to  pray  for  his  soul,  and  has  been  much  distinguished  by  the 
Northumbrians  of  the  circumjacent  villages.  Here  they  were 
accustomed  to  assemble  annually  to  play  at  foot-ball,  cudgels, 
and  other  rustic  games;  and  they  have  invented  circum- 
stances that  particularize  everything  near  it.  Thus  a  spring 
of  water  that  issues  not  far  from  the  cross,  is  still  called 
Percy's  Well,  at  which  this  chieftain  is  said  to  have  drunk 
in  the  heat  of  the  battle.  At  some  distance  to  the  north-west 
stood  two  large  stones,  (one  of  which  was  broken  to  furnish 
materials  when  the  turnpike  road  was  made);  these,  although 
they  are  several  yards  asunder,  were  called  Percy's  Leap." 

Lord  Montague,  after  the  battle  of  Hedgeley  Moor,  having 
received  reinforcements,  attacked  on  the  15th  of  May,  1464, 
the  army  'of  the  Lancastrians  encamped  on  the  Linnels  near 
Hexham,  and  after  a  long  and  bloody  struggle  totally  defeated 
them.  He  had  been  rewarded  for  his  great  services  by  the 
earldom  of  Northumberland  and  the  forfeited  estates  of  Percy. 
All  rebels,  who  submitted,  he  was  authorised  to  pardon  ex- 
cepting Sir  Humphrey  Neville  and  Sir  Ralph  Grey.  Neville 
was  taken  and  executed  at  York ;  but  Grey  resisted  to 
the  last,  and  defended  himself  bravely  in  Bamburgh  Castle 
till  the  end  of  July.  On  the  13th  of  June,  1464,  the  earl 
of  Warwick,  "  with  the  puissance  came  before  the  castle  of 
Alnwick  and  had  it  delivered  to  him  by  appointment ;  and 
also  the  castle  of  Dunstanburgh,  where  my  said  lord  kept  the 
feast  of  Saint  John  the  Baptist."*  Warwick  and  his  brother, 
the  earl  of  Northumberland,  on  the  27th  of  June,  laid  siege 

*  MS.  CoU^e  of  Anns,  L.  9,  in  Warkworth  Chioniele. 

Digitized  by 



to  Bamburgli  Castle,  and  summoned  Sir  Ralph  Grey  to  sur- 
render. On  his  refusal,  *^all  the  king's  great  guns  were 
charged  at  once  to  shoot  into  the  castle.  Newcastel,  the 
king  s  great  gun,  and  London,  the  second  gun  of  iron ;  the 
which  betide  the  place,  that  stones  of  the  walls  flew  into  the 
sea ;  Dysyon,  a  brazen  gun  of  the  king's,  smote  through  Sir 
Balph  Grey's  chamber  oftentimes.*^*  A  tower  was  beaten 
down,  and  the  castle  was  taken  by  assault.  Grey  was  so 
crushed  by  the  fall  of  the  wall,  that  he  was  taken  up  for 
dead ;  but  recovering,  he  was  sent  prisoner  to  York,  where 
he  was  condemned  and  executed  as  a  traitor.  According  to 
his  sentence,  he  should  have  been  degraded  from  knighthood; 
and  the  master  cook  was  ready  with  his  apron  and  knife  to 
strike  off  his  spurs  close  to  his  heels ;  but  this  part  of  the 
sentence  was  remitted  "  in  consideration  of  his  noble  grand- 
father, who  suffered  trouble  for  the  king's  most  noble  prede- 
cessors." This  was  the  commuted  sentence — "  Sir  Ralph 
Grey  this  shall  be  thy  penance ;  thou  shalt  go  on  thy  feet 
unto  the  townsend,  and  there  shalt  be  laid  down  and  drawn 
to  a  scaffold  made  for  thee,  and  that  there  shalt  have  thine 
head  smite  of  the  body,  to  be  buried  in  the  friars  ;  the  head 
where  it  pleased  the  king."t  Mercy  even  in  those  evil  days 
was  refined  cruelty. 

The  Lancastrian  party  was  now  effectually  subdued,  and  a 
long  truce  of  fifteen  years  having  been  concluded  with  Scot- 
land, Edward  might  have  expected  to  rest  in  quietude  on  the 
throne,  to  which  he  had  waded  through  blood ;  his  roairiage, 
however,  with  Elizabeth  Widville,  involved  him  in  trouble ; 
and  led  to  the  estrangement  of  the  great  family  of  Nevilles, 
who  possessed  immense  power  in  the  north.  Suspicious  of 
their  fidelity,  and  desirous  of  raising  a  counterpoise  to  their 
power,  Edward  incited,  it  is  said,  the  people  of  the  north  to 
petition  for  the  restoration  of  young  Percy  to  royal  favour. J 


Henry  Percy,  the  son  of  the  third  earl  of  Northumberland, 
a  minor  when  his  father  was  slain,  had  been  kept  by  authority 
of  the  king  in  the  tower  of  London ;  but  Edward  carried  out 

*  MS.  College  of  Arms,  L.  9,  printed  in  Warkworth's  Chronicle. 

t  Ibid. 

J  "Warkworth's  Chronicle,  p.  4. 


Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


his  politic  design ;  and  on  the  27th  of  October,  1469,  Henry 
Percy  was  restored  to  liberty,  and  appeared  at  Westminster 
Palace,  where,  in  the  presence  of  several  prelates,  peers,  and 
knights,  he  swore  to  be  faithful  to  King  Edward.  He  was 
restored  to  the  earldom  o(  Northumberland,  and  to  the  estates 
of  his  family;  and  was  appointed  warden  of  the  East  and 
Middle  Marches  in  the  following  year.  On  Lord  Montague, 
the  king  conferred  the  higher  dignity  of  marquis>  in  order  to 
allay  his  irritation  when  he  lost  the  more  substantial  benefits 
accruing  from  the  earldom;  but  he  complained  that  the  king 
had  given  him  "  a  pye's  nest  to  maintain  his  estate.'** 

Soon  afterwards,  the  Nevilles  were  at  the  head  of  a  rebel- 
lion to  depose  Edward ;  and  so  successful  were  they  at  first, 
that  he  was  compelled  to  seek  refuge  in  Burgundy.  The 
triumph  of  the  Lancastrians  was  short,  for  Edward  sooo 
returned  to  England,  invited  back  by  Henry,  earl  of  North- 
umberland ;  and  on  the  14th  of  April,  1471,  he  gained  the 
battle  of  Bamet,  where  the  earl  of  Warwick,  the  king-maker, 
was  slain.  The  marquis  of  Montague  shared  the  same  fete  ; 
but  it  is  said,  that  he  fell  by  the  hand  of  one  of  his  own 
party,  in  revenge  for  apparent  treachery,  in  giving  a  feeble 
support  to  his  brother.  The  battle  of  Shrewsbury,  fought  on 
the  following  May  the  4th,  decided,  during  the  lifetime  of 
Edward,  the  fortunes  of  the  rival  factions. 

The  earl  of  Northumberland,  at  this  time,  was  highly 
popular  in  the  north.  In  the  *'Plumpton  Correspondence'^* 
It  is  said  in  1471 — ^**for  great  part  of  the  noble  men  and 
commons  in  the  northern  parts  were  towards  the  earl,  and 
would  not  stir  with  any  lord  or  noble  man,  other  than  with 
him  or  at  least  by  his  commandment,  "f  He  rose  high  in 
favour  with  the  king,  who  in  the  parliament  held  at  West- 
minster on  the  6th  of  October,  1472,  sitting  in  the  chair  of 
state  in  the  painted  chamlier,  commanded  that  he  should  be 
restored  in  blood,  and  that  the  attainder  of  his  father  should 
be  void.  In  that  vear,  he  was  appointed  warden  of  the  East 
March,  and  one  of  the  commissioners  for  redressing  wrongs 
between  the  subjects  of  the  two  kingdoms;  justiciary  of 
the  forests  beyond  the  Trent ;  and  constable  of  Bamburgh 

In  the  border  transactions  of  this  period,  the  earl  appears 
to  have  rendered  good  service  to  his  country.    In  the  month 

*  Warkworth'B  Chronicle,  p.  10. 
f  Plampton  Conespondence,  p.  txt. 

Digitized  by 



of  September,  1471,  a  meeting  of  commissioners  of  both 
nations  was  held  at  Alnwick,  for  mutual  redress  of  wrongs 
committed  on  the  borders,  when  preliminary  arrangements 
were  made.  But  more  important  meetings  were  held  at 
Alnwick  during  nine  days  in  September,  1473,  when  more 
complete  regulations  were  adopted  to  prevent  inroads  and 
punish  aggressors.  For  his  service  as  warden,  the  earl  had 
to  receive  two  thousand  marks  yearly  in  time  of  peace,  and 
six  thousand  marks  in  time  of  war.  In  1474,  he  was  created 
knight  of  the  Garter ;  and  in  the  same  year,  he  accompanied 
the  king  in  an  expedition  to  France ;  and  for  this  he  was 
paid  £1^9  14s.  8d.,  as  his  first  quarter's  wages  for  himself 
and  the  forces  he  had  raised. 

While  civil  war  raged  in  England,  the  disturbances  along 
the  borders  were  not  of  serious  importance.  Much  was  due 
to  the  wisdom  and  benevolent  disposition  of  Bishop  Kennedy, 
for  preserving  the  peaceful  relation  between  the  two  coun- 
tries, during  the  earlier  part  of  the  period.  Domestic  feuds 
in  Scotland  and  the  influence  of  France  led,  however,  James 
the  king  of  Scotland  to  resolve,  in  1480,  to  invade  England, 
even  without  the  formality  of  a  declaration  of  war;  and, 
though  a  legate  of  the  papal  see,  by  enjoining  a  cessation  of 
arms,  caused  James  to  dismiss  his  army,  hostilities  soon  after- 
wards recommenced,  and  the  summer  was  spent  in  mutual 
depredations.  Edward,  in  1482,  sent  a  large  army  to  take 
revenge  on  Scotland;  it  consisted  of  twenty-two  thousand 
five  hundred  men,  and  in  the  beginning  of  July,  it  was 
marshalled  at  Alnwick.  This  formidable  force  was  under 
the  chief  command  of  the  duke  of  Gloucester.  The  van, 
numbering  six  thousand  seven  hundred  men,  led  by  Henry 
Percy,  earl  of  Northumberland,  suddenly  crossed  the  Tweed 
and  entered  the  town  of  Berwick  ;  but  Lord  Hales,  the  com- 
mander of  the  castle,  refusing  to  surrender  and  resolutely 
defending  it,  four  thousand  troops  were  left  under  the  com- 
mand of  Lord  Stanley,  while  the  rest  of  the  army  marched 
towards  Edinburgh.  Scottish  affairs  were  in  a  state  of  great 
confusion  from  the  weakness  of  the  crown  and  the  lawlessness 
of  the  nobility,  and  a  truce  was  agreed  to  containing  condi- 
tions unfavourable  to  Scotland;  on  the  24th  of  August, 
Berwick  was  given  up  to  the  English,  after  it  had  been  under 
the  dominion  of  Scotland  for  twenty-one  years.  Pleased  with 
this  acquisition,  the  English  parliament  recommended  the 
duke  of  Gloucester,  the  earl  of  Northumberland,  and  Lord 
Stanley  to  the  king,  for  their  services  in  the  Scottish  wars. 

Digitized  by 



The  earl  was  engaged  again  in  1483,  witli  other  commis- 
sioners, in  endeavouring  to  adjust  differences  which  had 
arisen  between  the  two  countries;  but  the  death  of  Edward 
IV.  and  the  usurpation  of  Richard  III.,  rendered  these  efforts 
of  no  avail. 

The  earl  of  Northumberland  attached  himself  to  the  cause 
of  the  usurper,  and  accepted  from  him  the  office  of  lord  high 
chamberlain  of  England.  When  Henry  Tudor,  the  earl  of 
Bichmond,  landed  in  England,  in  1485,  to  combat  for  the 
crown,  Richard  sent  for  the  earl  of  Northumberland,  who 
joined  him  with  all  the  forces  he  could  raise.  The  battle  of 
Bosworth  Field  was  fought  on  the  22nd  of  August,  when 
Richard  was  slain,  and  the  war  of  the  Roses  brought  to  an 
end ;  and  this  fatal  issue  to  Richard,  seems  to  have  been 
due  partly  to  the  treachery  of  the  earl.  Richard,  it  is  said, 
had  information  that  he  intended  to  forsake  him ;  be  this  as 
it  may,  the  earl  stood  neutral  with  his  men  when  the  battle 
was  raging;  and  this  bad  example  affected  others.  To  pierce 
the  secret  motives  of  men  in  power  is  always  difficult,  and 
sometimes  impossible ;  but  the  suspicion  attached  to  the 
conduct  of  the  earl,  is  strengthened  by  his  being  received 
into  favour  by  Henry  VII.  soon  after  the  battle  of  Bosworth 

In  the  first  year  of  Henry's  reign,  the  earl  was  constituted 
warden  of  the  West  and  Middle  Marches  and  conservator  of 
a  truce ;  and  two  years  afterwards,  he  was  one  of  the  com- 
missioners to  negotiate  for  peace  with  Scotland;  but  his 
appointment  as  lieutenant  of  Yorkshire  embroiled  him  with 
the  populace  and  led  to  his  death.  The  king  had  engaged 
in  war  with  France,  and  to  carry  it  on  vigorously,  parliament 
had  granted  a  liberal  aid.  But  this  tax,  though  readily 
granted,  was  not  cheerfully  paid;  especially  in  Yorkshire 
and  Durham,  where  the  popular  feeling  ran  still  in  favour  of 
Richard  III.  The  commissioners  for  gathering  the  subsidy, 
finding  the  people  mutinous,  complained  to  the  earl  of 
Northumberland,  whom  Bacon  calls  the  chief  ruler  of  the 
northern  parts.  Informed  of  this  disaffection  by  the  earl, 
the  king  issued  peremptory  commands,  that  not  one  penny 
be  abated  of  that  which  nad  been  granted  by  parliament. 
The  haughty  manner  in  which  the  earl  delivered  the  king's 
message  to  the  principal  justices  and  others  of  the  country, 
brought  odium  upon  himself;  he  was  regarded  as  the 
author  of  an  oppression ;  the  people  became  fiirious  and 
ungovernable,  and  broke  into  his  house,  and  slew  him  and 

Digitized  by 



several  of  his  seryants.    This  took  place  at  Coxlodge  near 
Thirsk,  on  the  28th  of  April,  1489.     Peeris  exclaims — 

O  horrible  mischiefei  O  most  cruell  cryine, 
In  our  dayei  hath  not  been  seene  soe  destestable  a  thinge. 
Their  awne  naturall  lords,  the  commons,  so  mnrtheringe. 

At  Beverley  Minster  hee  lyeth  and  alsoe  Lady  Mawd  his  wife, 
In  the  which  minster  five  priests  bee  found 

Dayly  to  singe  and  masses  to  say 

For  Lord  Henry  and  Mawd*s  soule  as  they  bee  bound. 

And  for  theire  ancestors  deceased  devoutly  to  pray, 

At  an  altar  by  his  tombe  they  singe  every  day ; 

And  three  bead  men  hee  founded  there  alsoe  to  continue  and  pray  alway, 
Which  now  the  fifth  earle  and  the  twelfthe  Henry  doth  maintaine  and  uphold 
Right  devoutly,  for  hee  reputeth  holy  prayer  more  then  treasure  or  gold. 

His  burial  in  the  College  Church  of  Beverley  was  in 
accordance  with  his  will.  His  funeral  must  have  been 
magnificent^  as  it  cost  upwards  of  £1^510^  equivalent  to 
about  £15,000  of  the  present  money.  "  A  standart  for  this 
solemn  occasion  cost  £4 ;  a  baner  £3  6s.  8d. ;  his  cote  armer 
of  Seynet,  betyn  with  his  armys  £5."  The  funeral  had  been 
arranged  by  members  of  the  Herald's  Collie,  for  there  is 
entered — ^^^The  reward  to  two  officers  of  armys  for  their  helpe 
and  payne  in  ordering  the  said  buriall  at  £10  the  pece,  for 
coming  from  London,  their  costs  and  rewards  £S0."  Thirteen 
thousand  three  hundred  and  forty  poor  folks  that  came  on 
the  day  of  the  burial  received  twopence  each  ;  five  hundred 
priests  twelvepence  each;  and  one  thousand  clerks  fourpence 

The  grave  of  Maud,  his  wife,  was  opened  in  September, 
1678,  and  her  body  was  found  in  a  fair  coffin  of  stone,  em- 
balmed and  covered  with  cloth  of  gold,  and  on  her  feet  sUp- 
pers  embroidered  with  silk,  and  therewith  a  wax  lamp,  a 
candle,  and  plate  candlestick.  The  stately  altar  tomb  of 
this  earl  is  still  in  a  good  state  of  preservation  in  Beverley 

By  his  wife  Maud,  daughter  of  William  Herbert,  earl  of 
Pembroke,  he  left  four  sons  and  three  daughters;  Henry, 
who  succeeded  him ;  Sir  William  Percy,  who  fought  at  Flod- 
den ;  Alan,  a  priest ;  and  Joceline,  ancestor  of  the  Percys  of 
Beverley,  Cambridge,  and  Rochester. 

The  win  of  this  earl,  which  was  made  on  the  27th  of  July, 
1485,  presents  a  fSavourable  view  of  his  character  as  a  religious 
man,  kindly  disposed,  and  eenerous  to  his  friends,  servants,  and 
to  the  poor;  for  those  who  had  served  him  while  living,  he 
wills  that  they  should  be  bountifrilly  deiJt  with  after  his  death. 
His  body  he  desires  to  be  buried*  within  the  College  Ghurch  of 

Digitized  by 



fit.  Jolm  of  BeYorley — **i£  hit  fortnne  me  to  d^arte  £rome  this 
presente  lyve  withyne  the  oountie  of  Yorke."  He  bequeaths  to 
the  prior  and  convent  of  the  Mars  in  Hohi  Park  £40 ;  to  the 
white  Mars  of  Doncaster  £20,  and  of  York  £20 ;  to  the  abbot 
and  convent  of  Alnwick  one  hundred  marcs ;  all  these  priors  and 
convents  are  within  a  month  of  his  decease  to  say  two  trentals 
for  him,  and  yearly  keep  an  obit  on  the  day  of  his  death ;  to  the 
prioress  and  convent  of  Wilberfosse  £10,  to  the  abbey  of  St. 
Alban's  £20,  to  the  abbey  of  St.  Mary  next  York  ten  marcs, 
"  to  pray  for  ye  saules  of  my  graunte-modirs,  my  lorde  my  fadir 
Boule,  my  graunte-fadirs,  all  myne  auntcestres  saules,  and  all 
cristen  saules;"  to  the  parsons  of  Lel^gfeld  five  marcs,  of  St. 
Anne  Ohurch  London  £5,  to  the  vicars  of  Werkeworth  five 
marcs  and  of  Wresill  a  himdred  shillings,  '*  for  my  tithes  and 
oblations  by  me  to  fore  this  tyme  forgeten."  "  Also  I  well  that 
by  ye  discrecions  of  myne  executors,  to  dispose  for  my  saule  and 
ye  saules  aforesaid,  ye  some  of  thre  houndreth  markes."  He 
wills  that  Sir  Bobert  Constable,  Sir  Thomas  Meteham,  Sir  Wil- 
liam Eure,  and  Sir  Ghiy  Fairfax  be  paid  their  fees  during  their 
lives,  they  doing  service  to  his  heirs  as  they  have  done  to  him. 
All  that  have  offices  of  his  grant  are  to  retain  them  being  true  to 
his  heirs.  *^  Also  I  woU  that  my  gossep  Mr  William  foteman 
(who  was  archdeacon  of  the  East  Biding,)  have  a  tonne  of  wyne 
of  Gasooigne  yerelie  duryng  my  lyve  and  his,  to  be  delyvred  at 
ye  porte  of  HuU  to  hyme  or  to  his  deputy ;  and  after  my  discess 
during  his  lyve  two  tonnes  of  Qascoigne  wyne."  To  eight  per- 
sons now  his  headmen  he  willed  that  they  be  found  during  their 
lives  in  meat,  drink,  and  clothing,  and  that  each  have  yearly 
thirteen  shillings  and  fourpence  in  money.  He  makes  provision 
for  his  daughters  Alianor  and  Anne,  and  for  his  sons  Henry, 
William,  Aleyne,  Gessilyne;  for  his  nephews  Sir  Balph  and 
C^rge  Percy,  and  for  the  children  of  Sir  Henry  another  nephew.* 
Many  other  bequests  are  made  in  this  thoughtful  wilLf 

On  his  tomb  are  displayed  his  heraldic  insignia — the  Percy 
fiisils^  the  Percy  lion,  the  locket,  the  crescent,  the  lucies, 
Poynings  and  Bryan.  Belonging  to  his  time  are  also  a  lion 
statanty  guardant,  gorged  with  a  crescent^  inscribed  with 
esperance,  supporting  what  appears  to  be  a  banner  charged 
with  the  Percy  and  Lucy  arms  quartered,  on  the  Lion  Tower 
of  Warkworth  Castle ;  on  the  same  tower  is  the  crest — a  lion 
passant y  the  tail  lashed,  on  a  chapeau  ermine  ;  and  here  too, 
occurs  a  badge  used  only  by  this  earl — a  basctdeXfor  Herbert ^ 

*  They  were  descendants  of  Sir  Ralph  Percy,  who  was  killed  at  Hedgeley  Moor, 
t  Test  Ebor.  III.,  p.  810 

X  A  bascule  was  the  counterpoise  which  helped  to  lift  a  drawbridge.  Refer- 
ence must  be  made  to  Mr.  Longstaffe's  Percy  Heraldry  for  an  account  of  this 
curious  badge. 

Digitized  by 




the  family  of  his  wife  Maud^  with  the  motto  ma  comfort — 
Fig.  24 ;  the  same  badge,  with  a  crescent  is  on  a  window  of 
Beverley  Church— JFty.  25. 

na  24- 



A  lion  rampant  was  on  the  barbican  of  Alnwick  Castle ; 
and  on  the  old  cornice  above,  were  the  crescent  and  locket 
with  a  crowned  lion  supporter  on  the  left  side,  and  the  motto 
Esperance  Ma  Comforte*  The  crescent  and  locket  are  on  the 
head  of  a  buttress  of  Warkworth  Church;  a  crescent  enclosing 
a  locket  on  the  north  window  of  Beverley  Chapel — Fig,  26 ; 
on  Hedgeley  Cross ;  and  on  Highfarlaw  (Heohforlaw)  Pole. 




Locket  between  the  horns  of  a  crescent;  from  Vincent's  MS. 

*  This  was  restored,  but  not  correctly,  a  century  ago;  the  ozigioal  scalptoret 
are  presenred  in  the  Castle  Museum. 

Digitized  by 



FROM  1489  TO  1637. 



Henry  Algernon,  who,  as  eldest  son  and  heir,  succeeded 
to  the  barony  of  Alnwick  and  other  possessions,  was  bom 
on  the  18th  of  January,  1478 ;  in  1488,  he  was  created  a 
knight  of  Bath  along  with  Arthur,  prince  of  Wales;  and 
sometime  prior  to  1498,  he  was  made  a  knight  of  the  Garter. 

He  was  a  Percy-Lovaine  of  a  new  type.  His  predecessors, 
with  rare  exceptions,  were  brave  warriors,  ready  at  the  head 
of  attached  vassals  to  fight  their  own  or  their  country's 
battles;  but  the  spirit  of  the  old  heroism  seems  never  to 
have  kindled  in  his  bosom ;  he  was  more  at  home  in  gaudy 
shows  than  in  battle-fields ;  and  he  stands  pre-eminent  for 
his  stately  magnificence,  which  he  displayed  not  only  in  the 
grandeur  of  his  military  equipment,  but  also  in  the  semi- 
regal  order  of  his  household. 

I{e  had  a  favourable  opportunity  of  indulging  in  his  taste 
for  display  when  he  attended  the  princess  royal  into  Scotland. 
A  happy  historical  event  was  the  marriage  of  Margaret,  Henry 
the  Seventh's  eldest  daughter,  to  James  the  Fourth,  of  Scot- 
land; for  it  brought  about  the  union  of  the  crowns  of  England 

Digitized  by 



and  Scotland,  -which  powerful  kings,  large  armies,  and  tor- 
rents of  blood  had  failed  to  achieve. 

This  marriage  was  celebrated  by  proxy  on  January  the 
25th,  1503,  and  proclaimed  at  Saint  Paul's  Cross,  where  the 
Te  Deum  was  sung.  The  peal  of  beUs  and  blaze  of  bonfires 
testified  the  joy  of  the  citizens.  Young,  the  herald,  has  left 
a  curious  account  of  the  bride's  progress  through  England  to 
the  Scottish  border. 

The  Mng,  her  father,  accompanied  her  as  far  as  Collyweston, 
lihe  residence  of  her  grandmother.  Afterwards,  richly  dressed, 
mounted  on  a  fair  palfrey,  she  was  attended  throughout  her 
journey,  by  the  chief  noblemen  of  the  district  through  which  she 
passed,  all  the  good  towns  and  villages  in  her  route  ringing  their 
bells,  and  the  inhabitants  of  the  country  around  comiog  to  see 
the  noble  company,  bringing  great  vessels  fuU  of  drink  for  the 
use  of  those  wno  had  ne^  of  it.  At  two  miles  frt)m  the  city  of 
Tadcaster,  the  queen  was  Joined  by  the  earl  of  Northumberland 
"well  horst  upon  a  fayr  Cforser,  with  a  foot  cloth  to  the  Qrounde 
of  Cramsyn  Velvett,  all  horded  of  Orflavery ;  his  Armes  vary  rich 
in  maay  Places  upon  his  Saddle  and  Harnys,  his  Sterrops  gylt, 
himself  arayd  of  a  Qowne  of  the  same  Cramsyn.  At  the  opnyngs 
of  the  Slyves  and  the  Coller,  a  grett  Bordeur  of  Stones.  His 
Boutts  of  Yelvett  blak,  his  Spours  gylt ;  and  in  many  places  he 
maid  Gambads,  plaisant  for  to  see.  AHwayes  nigh  to  him  wer 
two  Fotemen.  Ther  Jackets  of  that  sain  as  before  to  his  devyses. 
Before  him  he  had  3  Hensmen  xychly  drest  and  mounted  upon 
fayr  Horsys,  their  short  Jakets  of  Orfavery,  and  the  Harnys  of 
the  sayd  Horsys  of  the  same.  After  them  rode  the  Maister  of 
the  Horse,  arayd  of  his  Livery  of  Velvyt,  mounted  upon  a  gentyll 
Horse,  and  Campanes  of  Silver  and  gylt."  Many  noble  fiiights 
were  in  his  company;  "also  ther  was  hys  Officer  of  Armes  named 
Norhumberland  Herault,  arayed  of  his  liveray  of  Velvet,  herring 
his  Cotte."  The  earl  accompanied  the  queen  through  the  re- 
mainder of  Yorkshire,  through  Durham  and  Northimiberland, 
and  as  fu*  as  Lammerton  Kirk  in  Scotland. 

When  entering  into  the  city  of  Durham,  the  earl  "  wore  a 
goodly  gown  of  Tynsel  furred  with  Ermines,  mounted  on  a  fair 
courser,  with  harness  of  Goldsmith  Work,  through  which  were 
inserted  small  bells  that  made  a  m^odious  noise." 

Three  days  the  queen  sojourned  in  Newcastle,  and  on  leaving, 
was  escorted  hj  the  mayor ;  half-a-mile  from  the  town  she  was 
received  by  Sir  Humphrey  lisle,  of  Felton,  and  the  prior  of 
Brinkbum,  with  twenty  horsemen ;  and  a  little  further  on  by 
Sir  Ealph  Evers,  sheriff  of  the  county,  "  with  many  honest  folks 
of  the  countrie  with  spears  and  bows,  in  Jackets,  to  the  number 
of  200  horsemen."  Aitor  resting  a  night  at  Morpeth,  she  recom- 
menced her  journey,  and,  between  Morpeth  and  Alnwick  was  joined 

Digitized  by 



by  ''Maister  Heniy  Qraj,  Esqxder^  -with  one  hilndr^  hoitoe." 
Her  route  to  Alnwick  was  through  OaWledge  Park|  hi  whieh 
**  she  kjrlde  a  Buck  with  her  bow.  Two  days  she  remained  at 
Alnwick,  as  the  gaest  of  the  earl  of  Northumberland,  who  ''maid 
hyr  varey  good  Chore."  On  the  28th  of  July,  she  left  Alnwick 
and  dined  at  BeKord,  where  Sir  Thomas  Darcy,  captain  of 
Berwick^  "  had  made  ready  her  dinner  very  well  and  honestly.*' 
Balph  Widdrington  joined  her  here  with  one  hitadj^ed  horse ; 
and  at  the  entrance  of  Islandshire,  Henry  Grey^  who  was  sheriff 
of  that  part  of  Northumberland,  took  charge  c^  her.  On  the  let 
of  August,  she  was  received  at  Lammerton  Kirk,  on  the  part 
of  the  king  of  Scots,  by  the  archbishop  of  Glasgow  and  other 
noblemen,  and  about  one  thousand  persons  |  and  here  the  earl 
of  Northumberland  made  "  his  Devor  at  Departynge  (d  Gambads 
and  Leaps."* 

GDhe  Scottish  king  and  his  nobles  were  also  richly  appareled ; 
but  for  splendouri  the  earl  of  Northumberland  outshone  them 
all ;  ''  in  the  richness  of  his  coat  being  goldsmith's  work,  gar- 
nished with  pearl  and  stones ;  and  for  the  costiv  apparel  of  his 
henzmen,  and  gallant  trappers  of  his  horses,  besides  400  tall 
men  well  horsedj  and  appareled  in  his  collars,  he  was  esteemed 
both  of  the  Scots  and  liinglishmen  more  like  a  prince  than  a 

He  had  another  opportunity  of  indulging  h{«  taste  for  dis- 
play, when,  in  1513,  he  with  six  thousand  men,  accompanied 
a  warlike  expedition  to  France,  where  he  took  patt  in  the 
sieges  of  Therovene  and  ToUmay ;  and  was  present  at  **  The 
Battle  of  the  Spurs ^^  where  the  French  cavalry  using  their 
spurs  instead  of  their  swords  galloped  away  from  the  Eng- 
lish, leaving  their  general  and  officers  in  the  hands  of  theiir 
enemies4  A  curious  account  is  presen-ed  of  "The  order  and 
hole  preparation  and  carriage  of  the  Bight  honorable  Henry^ 
Earle  of  Northumberland,  when  he  went  to  the  siege  of 
Turwin  in  France,  in  the  fifth  ycare  of  the  taigne  of  King 
Henry  the  Eighth."! 

Extraordinarily  magnificent  was  his  display  j  arrayed  he 
was  in  the  utmost  splendour,  with  doublets,  coats,  gaberdines, 
and  cloaks  of  crimson  and  green  satin,  ornamented  with  gold; 
even  his  garters  were  of  goldsmith  work  of  gold  of  Venice 
with  buckles  and  pendants  of  gold  and  enamel.  His  own 
pursuivants,  herald,  standard  and  banner  bearers  attended 

•  Lelandi  Collectanea,  IV.,  pp.  371-1&81. 

f  Thia  Tery  earions  aoooant  ia  printed  in  the  Antiquarian  Repoaitor]r>  IV»» 
p.  346. 

Digitized  by 




him ;  aod  his  whole  arms  were  beaten  on  their  coats  in  oil 
colours  and  gold ;  Mfperatmce,  my  lord's  pursuivant,  had  a 
green  damask  coat,  and  threes  chaplains  had  red  gowns,  with 
three  bends  of  white  sarsenet  and  green,  with  six  crosses,  six 
roses,  and  six  crescents. 

On  his  gideholmefi,  or  small  standards,  were  my  lord's 
device  and  word  with  sundry  beasts,  and  sundry  powderings. 
In  JFV^.  28,  the  beast  is  the  blue  lion  of  Percy,  the  device  is 
the  cresoent  enclosing  the  locket,  the  powderings  are  lockets» 
a^nd  the  word,  E»perance  en  JHeu;  the  colours  are  the  gold 
and  gre^n  of  Poynii»gs. 


The  pennofUfeUe,  or  diminutive  pennon,  for  his  d^ni-lance, 
was  painted  red  and  black,  with  livery  colours  of  my  lord, 
with  the  crescent  upon  it. 

The  war  which  the  king  of  England  was  carrying  on  against 
France  in  151S,  broke  the  friendly  relations  between  England 
and  Scotland.  From  France,  Scotland  had  often  received 
aid  when  her  more  powerful  neighbour  sought  to  oppress 
her,  nor  was  she  ungrateful  when  her  friend  needed  help* 
There  was  no  difficulty  in  trumping  up  an  excuse  for  breaking 

Digitized  by 



the  truce.  Andrew  Barton,*  a  famous  Scottish  sea  captain, 
called  by  the  English  a  pirate,  had  been  killed  by  the  Eng- 
lish and  his  ships  seized,  when  he  was  acting  under  the 
authority  of  the  king  of  Scotland;  Heron  the  Bastard, 
brother  of  Lord  Ford,  and  the  murderer  of  the  Scottish 
warden,  was  protected  by  the  English ;  and  the  jewels  be- 
longing to  the  queen  of  Scotland  were  detained  in  England. 
These,  though  trivial  enough  in  themselves,  were  deemed 
sufficient  grounds  by  a  warlike  people  to  seek  vengeance  on 
England.  Soon  did  the  turbulent  borderers  begin  their  raids 
and  devastations  on  both  sides  of  the  border.  Lord  Home 
at  the  head  of  three  thousand  horsemen,  in  revenge  of  the 
ravages  of  the  English,  entered  Northumberland,  and  after 
burning  seven  villages  was  retiring  with  great  booty,  when 
he  was  way-laid  by  Sir  William  Bulmer  with  one  thousand 
archers  and  men-of-arms  on  horseback.  These  he  had  con- 
cealed among  the  tall  broom  on  Millfield  Plain ;  and  as  the 
Scots  were  returning,  he  suddenly  attacked  them.  Bravely 
the  Scot«  resisted ;  but  being  encumbered  with  spoil,  they 
were  shot  down  by  the  archers  and  totally  defeated,  with 
a  loss  of  five  or  six  hundred  killed  and  four  hundred 
taken  prisoners.  This,  however,  was  but  the  prelude  to  a 
more  disastrous  defeat,  which  is  to  be  deplored,  not  only  for 
the  sorrow  it  brought  to  Scotland,  but  for  the  sad  check  it 
gave  to  the  progress  of  its  social  improvement ;  for  James 
IV.,  the  king  of  Scotland,  aimed  at  noble  objects;  he  repaired 
and  adorned  many  palaces  and  castles,  improved  the  admin- 
istration of  justice,  brought  law  and  order  to  bear  on  wild 
and  uncultivated  districts  that  had  previously  been  beyond 
the  range  of  civilising  influences  ;  his  navy  he  had  strength- 
ened ;  and  with  vigour  he  had  attempted  to  repress  the 
excesses  and  lawlessness  of  the  borders.  Alas !  that  such 
noble  movements  should  have  been  so  soon  arrested.  With 
all  his  generosity  he  had  his  faults ;  led  astray  by  his  own 
chivalrous  feeling,  he  kindled  up  the  excitable  war-spirit  of 
his  people  and  entered  England  with  a  numerous  army. 

In  the  absence  of  King  Henry,  who  was  on  the  continent, 
the  earl  of  Surrey  advanced  to  meet  the  Scots  with  an  army 
of  twenty-six  thousand  men ;  and  to  arouse  their  religious 
enthusiasm,  he  obtained  at  Durham,  the  banner  of  Saint 

•  About  thirty  yean  ago,  a  heavy  aea  washed  away  the  loose  sand  coTering  a 
sandstone  rock,  near  low  tide  mark  on  the  sea  shore  at  Embleton,  and  there  was 
found  cut  upon  this  rock  in  Roman  capitals,  ANDRA  BARTON. 

Digitized  by 



Cuthbert,  the  popular  saint  of  Northumberland.  This  army 
arrived  at  Alnwick  on  the  3rd  of  September,  1513 ;  and  as 
heavy  rains  had  broken  up  the  roads  they  remained  all  the 
next  day,  and  Surrey  while  there  was  joined  by  his  son, 
Thomas,  the  lord  admiral,  with  a  considerable  body  of  good 
forces.  From  Alnwick,  on  Sunday  the  4th  of  the  month, 
Surrey  sent  a  herald  (Rouge  Croix;  challenging  the  king  of 
Scotland  to  join  battle  with  him  on  the  Friday  following. 
On  the  5th,  the  English  army  encamped  at  Bolton,  five  miles 
westward  of  Alnwick,  and  on  the  6th  and  7th  at  Wooler 
Haugh  Head.  The  two  armies  joined  issue  on  Flodden 
Field  on  the  9th,  between  four  and  five  o'clock  in  the  after- 
noon ;  and  when  the  dark  shadows  of  night  fell,  the  Scots 
were  signally  defeated,  their  chivalrous  kmg  slain,  and  most 
of  his  nobles  with  nearly  ten  thousand  of  his  soldiers  left 
dead  on  this  fatal  battle-field.*  This  disaster  fiUed  the  heart 
of  Scotland  with  sorrow,  which  found  utterance  in  plaintive 
songs,  in  memory  of  the  "  Flowers  of  the  Forest  that  had  a* 
wede  away."t 

The  earl  of  Northumberland  was  not  engaged  in  this  battle, 
being  then  with  the  king  in  France ;  but  two  Percys  were 
there.  Sir  William,  his  brother,  and  Sir  Lionel  Percy. 

Though  the  earl  had  been,  on  the  accession  of  Henry 
VIII.,  appointed  warden  of  the  marches,  he  never  distin- 
guished himself  in  border  warfare ;  but  when  an  invasion 
from  Scotland  was  dreaded  in  1522,  he  was  again  entrusted 
with  this  important  office,  from  which  he  is  said  soon 
after,  by  repeated  suits  to  the  king,  to  have  obtained  a 
dischai^e.  For  this  sorry  conduct  he  suffered  greatly  in 
reputation,  even  incurring  the  contempt  of  his  own  ten- 
ants.  Probably,  however,  the  new  regulations  introduced 
by  the  sagacity  of  Wolsey,  to  make  the  office  of  warden 
efficient  in  the  maintenance  of  order  and  administration 
of  law,  did  not  harmonise  with  the  lofty  notions  the  earl 
entertained  of  his  own  dignity;  and  to  some  border  men, 
indeed,  these  regulations  were  especially  distasteful,  because 
preventing  indolent  and  unscrupulous  wardens  and  sub- 
wardens  making  a  profit  out  of  the  lawlessness  and  misery 

*  Two  Tery  able  and  full  accounts  of  this  battle  have  been  lecently  given ;  one 
by  Robert  V^hite  in  Arcbseologia  ^liana,  III^  New  Series;  and  the  other  by 
the  Rev.  Robert  Jones,  vicar  of  Brankston,  in  the  Proceedings  of  the  Berwick- 
shire Naturalists*  Club,  IV.,  pp.  365-389.  This  has  since  been  reprinted  in  a 
separate  Tolomei 

t  Hall. 

Digitized  by 



of  the  border  land.  Something  the  earl  attempted  in  1527 ; 
when  by  command  of  the  king,  his  dearest  son  and  heir  Lord 
Percy  lay  and  abode  at  bis  castle  of  Alnwick  for  defence  of 
the  borders  against  the  Scots,  he  then  issued  a  commission, 
in  royal  style  '^for  taking  of  musters'*  to  George  Swinboume, 
constable  of  Alnwick  Castle,  Thomas  Horseley,  constable  of 
Warkworth  Castle,  to  his  steward  of  Spofford  and  Topcliffe, 
to  his  constable  of  Prudhoe  Casde,  and  to  his  feodary  of 
York,  commanding  them  to  view  all  his  officers,  servants, 
tenants,  farmers,  homagers,  freeholders,  and  inhabitants  of 
Northumberland, "  according  to  the  custome  of  old  tyme  used," 
who  are  charged  to  wait  upon  his  son  to  serve  the  king.* 

Boon  after  this,  on  the  19th  of  May,  16^7,  the  earl  died 
and  was  buried  in  Beverley  Cathedral. 

He  was  married  to  Catherine,  daughter  and  co-heiress  of 
Sir  Robert  Spence,  of  Spencer  Combe,  in  Devonshire,  by 
whom  he  had  two  daughters  and  three  sons ;  Henry,  who 
succeeded  him,  and  Sir  Thomas  and  Sir  Ingelram  or  Ingram, 
both  of  whom  took  part  in  Ashe's  rebellion. 

Vain  and  excessively  fond  of  pomp  and  display  and  having 
no  great  share  of  the  bravery  of  the  older  Percys,  he  seems 
to  have  been  more  literate  than  the  barons  generally  of  the 
period.  Skelton  he  patronised ;  a  coarse  satirical  poet,  then 
held  in  esteem,  although  a  priest  of  malicious  disposition  and 
of  doubtful  moral  character,  and  who  wrote  a  long  elegy  on 
the  death  of  the  oarPs  father.  The  earl  left  a  curious  collec- 
tion of  poems  engrossed  on  vellum,  chiefly  those  of  Lydgate, 
the  elegy  of  Skelton,  and  the  history,  in  a  kind  of  verse, 
of  the  Percy  family  by  Peeris,  one  of  his  chaplains.  He 
indulged  in  an  odd  fancy,  in  having  the  walls  and  ceilings  of 
the  principal  apartments  in  Wressu  Castle  and  Leckingfield 
great  manor  house  covered  with  a  series  of  moral  inscriptions 
in  verse.  These  verses  are  like  the  compositions  of  the 
period,  affected  and  strewed  with  conceits,  but  they  inculcate 
some  good  moral  lessona ;  one  example  may  be  given  :*— 

A.  He  that  slepithe  in  somer  in  winter  sufferithe  payne^ 

And  he  that  in  youthe  is  ydyll  in  age  muste  nedii  complayne^ 
And  he  that  in  yonthe  withe  nrtu  roakithe  adyaunce 
In  age  of  all  grace  shall  have  plenteus  habundaunee. 

B.  An  olde  proverhc  it  is  mesne  it  is  a  treasure 

Why  sholde  not  youthe  at  tymes  enjiye  his  pleasure. 

Affecting  the  state  of  a  sovereign,  his  commands  were 
expressed  in  a  royal  style ;  his  household  was  like  a  regal 

•  Ant  Rep.,  IV.,  p.  851. 

Digitized  by 


nrtn  Atti)  ^txfm  sa^ls. 


establishment ;  officers  he  kept  to  record  his  doings^  and  a 
poet  laureate  to  sing  the  praises  and  dignity  of  himself  and 
family ;  and  hence  there  have  been  handed  down  curious 
and  Toluminous  records  exhibiting  his  manner  of  life.  His 
household  book,  which  was  given  to  the  world  by  Bishop 
Percy,  presents  a  striking  picture  of  a  singular  combination 
of  the  feudal  grandeur  of  the  olden  time,  with  the  stately 
magnificence  of  the  sixteenth  century.  He  had  a  council^ 
composed  of  his  principal  officers,  to  establish  laws  for  the 
government  of  his  household ;  the  constable  and  bailiffs  of 
his  castles  waited  upon  him  in  succession,  and  these  offices 
were  filled  by  the  younger  branches  of  his  family  and  by 
gentlemen  of  dignified  descent ;  they  formed,  along  with  the 
other  chief  officers  the  Knight's  Board;  there  were  controller, 
clerk  of  the  kitchen,  chamberlain,  treasurer,  secretary  and 
clerk  of  the  signet,  survisor,  heralds,  ushers,  almoner,  a 
schoolmaster  for  teaching  grammar^  minstrels,  eleven  priests 
presided  over  bv  a  doctor  of  Divinity  as  dean  of  the  chapel, 
and  a  band  of  choristers.  The  household  numbered  two 
hundred  and  twenty-three  persons.* 

Aems. — Percy  and  Lucy  quarterly.  The  earl's  MS.,  prob- 
ably a  copy  from  his  bannerole  at  the  Turwin  siege ;  in 
the  corners  are  silver  crescents  and  golden  lockets ;  and 
between  the  shield  and  garter  are  H.  P. 

na  30 

*  The  wbole  of  fhis  Bousehold  Book  is  printed  in  the  Antiquarian  Repertory, 
rV.,  p.  9,  &e.    The  detailt  of  the  mode  of  lifing  ttB  highly  instrttCtiTe; 

Digitized  by 



Arms. — Quarterly  of  five,     I.,  Percy  and  Lucy  quarterly. 

II.,  Old  Percy,     III.,  Poynings.     IV.,  Fitzpaine.     V., 

Bryan.     Garter  plate. 
In  the  earl's  signet,  there  are  a  lion  rampant  and  a  locket 
between  every  letter  of  the  motto.     1616. 

Fia  31 


Henry  Algernon  Percy,  the  eldest  son  of  the  fifth  earl,  was 
educated  in  the  house  of  Cardinal  Wolsey;  and  as  one  of  the 
train  of  that  powerful  minister,  whom,  indeed,  he  attended 
in  ordinary,  he  was  in  the  habit  of  repairing  to  the  royal 
court,  and  there  met  the  beautiful  and  unfortunate  Anne 
Boleyn.  Before  the  king  himself  had  looked  on  her  with 
loving  eyes,  Henry  Percy  was  smitten  with  her  charms,  and  so 
far  progressed  in  her  aflFections,  that  he  obtained  her  goodwill 
to  marriage ;  and  they  became  little  less  than  contracted  to 
each  other.  The  king,  having  heard  of  this,  and  afraid  of 
losing  this  beautiful  woman,  on  whom  he  had  for  some  time 
contemplated  with  affection,  acquainted  Cardinal  Wolsey 
with  his  love,  and  desired  him  to  dissuade  Percy  from  pro- 
secuting his  suit.  The  cardinal  used  his  endeavours,  both 
with  Percy  and  Anne  Boleyn,  to  break  off  their  engagement; 
but  Anne  seems  to  have  been  so  much  attached  to  her  lover, 
as  to  be  displeased  with  the  cardinal's  interference ;  whose 
influence,  however,  not  being  sufficient  to  disunite  the  lovers, 
the  king  sent  for  the  earl  of  Northumberland  to  come  to 
court ;  and  so  afraid  was  he  of  the  king's  displeasure,  that 
he  insisted  on  his  son  renouncing  Anne  Boleyn;   and  to 

Digitized  by 



pravent  the  Tecurrence  of  danger^  he  induced  him  to  many 
the  daughter  of  the  earl  of  Shrewsbury.  Even  when  Anne 
became  the  wife  of  the  king,  she  retained  a  strong  hatred  of 
the  cardinal  for  blighting  her  early  love  * 

On  his  father's  death  in  15^,  Henry  Algernon,  as  heir^ 
succeeded  to  all  his  lands.  Notwithstanding  his  early 
obligations  to  the  cardinal,  he,  in  the  same  year^  signed  the 
articles  impeaching  his  old  master,  who  was  now  tottering 
on  his  lofty  elevation,  chiefly  because  of  his  opposition  to 
the  divorce  of  Queen  Catherine.  The  earl  too,  signed  the 
famous  letter  from  the  peers  of  the  realm  to  Pope  Clement, 
in  1530,  informing  his  holiness,  that  if  he  did  not  concur  in 
a  sentence  of  divorce  they  would  seek  a  remedy  elsewhere. 
This  was  the  first  bold  decisive  blow  which  severed  England 
from  the  Papal  dominion.  The  great  cardinal  had  been  in 
disgrace  and  banished  from  the  court  since  October,  15^ ; 
but  his  enemies,  afraid  that  he  might  regain  the  king's 
favour,  sought  his  destruction.  The  earl  of  Northumberland^ 
who  was  now  warden  of  the  Marches,  went  by  command  of 
the  king,  along  with  others,  to  arrest  the  cardinal,  with  such 
diligence  and  secrecy,  that  the  cardinal^  receiving  him  as  a 
guest,  was  startled  when  the  earl  in  a  feultering  voice  said 
'*  I  arrest  you  of  treason."  Dismayed  and  pensive,  the 
cardinal  paused  before  he  replied;  and  feeling  grieved, 
apparently  not  so  much  on  account  of  the  arrest  itself,  but 
because  it  was  made  by  one  who  had  served  in  his  own 
household,  he  at  first  refused  to  obey,  until  he  saw  the 
king's  commission.  This,  however,  was  not  shewn  to  him ; 
but  as  he  had  no  remedy,  he  at  length  yielded ;'  not  to  the 
earl,  but  to  Sir  William  Welsh  as  the  king's  servant.f  The 
fiiU  of  this  great  minister^  as  told  in  the  pages  of  Shakespeare, 
gives  a  most  impressive  and  touching  lesson  on  the  instability 
Zt  human  greatness. 

When  the  brutal  Henry  VIII.,  enamoured  with  another 
Jbeauty,  caused  his  wife  Anne  Boleyn  to  be  condemned,  he 
sought  also  to  deprive  her  of  the  honour  of  being  his  lawful 
wife,  by  endeavouring  to  persuade  the  earl  of  Northumber- 
land to  admit  that  she  was  under  a  pre-contract  and  promise 
of  marriage  to  him.  Honourable  it  is  to  the  earl^  that  he 
was  not  awed  by  the  cruel  tyrant^  to  heap  degradation  on 
a  persecuted  woman.    In  a  letter  to  Cromwell^  the  king's 

«  T]iM6  interettiDg  partieuUn  are  giTen  in  Herbert's  Life  of  Henry  YIIL, 
HistofEng.,  11.^1708. 

t  Herbert,  II.,  p.  14S. 


Digitized  by 



secretary,  he  says — ^^  I  perceive  there  is  supposed  a  Precon- 
tract between  the  Queen  and  me.  Whereupon  I  was  not 
only  heretofore  examin'd  upon  mine  Oath  before  the  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury  and  York;  but  also  received  the  blessed 
Sacrament  upon  the  same,  before  the  Earl  of  Norfolk  and 
others  of  the  king's  council  learned  in  the  spiritual  law; 
assuring  you  by  the  said  Oath  and  blessed  body,  which  afore 
I  received,  and  hereafter  intend  to  receive,  that  the  same 
may  be  to  my  Damnation,  if  ever  there  were  any  contract  or 
promise  of  Marriage  between  her  and  me.*'* 

Soon  after  his  accession  to  the  earldom,  Henry  Algernon 
Percy  must  have  been  appointed  warden  of  the  Eastern  and 
Middle  Marches  ;  for  we  find  him  acting  in  that  capacity  on 
the  28th  of  January,  1528.  He  met  with  the  Scottish  war- 
dens on  the  Marches  to  redress  grievances,  and  presided  over 
warden  courts  to  try  and  punish  o£fenders ;  but  he  seldom 
engaged  in  the  warfare,  which  despite  of  truces,  was  still 
carried  on.  In  one  raid  across  the  borders  he  took  part; 
and  of  this  he  gives  an  account  in  a  letter  to  Henry  YIII. 

"According"  he  says,  "to  your  most  dread  commandment,  for 
me  to  invade  the  realm  of  Scotiand,  and  there  to  destroy,  -waste, 
and  bimi  com  and  towns  to  their  most  annoyances,"  he  took 
upon  him  an  enterprise  into  Teviotdale  and  Merse.  On  the  1 1th 
of  December,  1532,  at  eleven  o'clock,  he  invaded  Scotland  accom- 
panied with  the  whole  garrison  of ?  and  other  Northum- 
brians ;  on  the  following  day  he  sent  forth  two  forays,  and  at 
day-break  they  raised  the  fire  in  Douglas  in  the  Lothians,  and 
bimit  and  wasted  the  town  and  the  com  there;  and  also  the 
town  and  com  of  Aldhamstokes,  Oobbirspeth,  the  two  towns  of 
Hoprygg,  Old  Gamers,  and  the  towns  of  Eeidtlewes.  He  also 
burnt  "  a  town  and  com  being  in  his  way  called  Eaynton." 
"  Thankes  be  to  Ood  the  forreys  fleynge  stale  and  batall  savely, 
without  loss  or  hurt  did  mete  at  the  howre  of  12  of  the  doke, 
not  being  one  pele,  gentlemans  house,  nor  grange,  imbrynt  and 
destroyed;  and  so  recaled  towardes  England,  and  in  our  retoume 
forreyed  aU  the  contrey  toward  Berwyk,  and  did  bryn,  wast,  and 
distroye  the  townes  of  Conwodd,  Honwodd,  2  Eustayns,  Blak 
Hill,  and  Hill  End,  2  Atons,  and  wan  the  barmkyn  there ;  which 
townes  was  within  the  Merse.  At  which  invasion  there  ys  taken 
many  Scottesmen  prisoners,  there  was  seaced  2000  noyte  and 
above,  4000  shepe  and  above,  with  all  the  insight,  coyn,  imploy- 
ments  of  houshold,  estemed  to  a  great  somme."  How  revolting 
to  thank  Gbd  for  the  safe  performance  of  these  horrible  deeds  If 

•  Herbert,  II.,  p.  195. 
t  State  Papers,  IV.,  p.  627. 

Digitized  by 




He  must  have  had  somewhat  of  the  love  of  display  for 
which  his  father  stood  pre-eminent ;  for  we  find,  that  Crom- 
well not  only  informed  him  of  complaints  having  been  made  of 
his  not  duly  executing  justice  on  the  Marches,  but  also  of  his 
having  had  a  sword  borne  before  him  from  TopcliflF  to  York. 
He  admits  that  a  sword  was  borne  before  him,  and  says — 
*'  Good  Master  Secretary,  if  that  same  were  taken  by  the 
King's  Majesty  of  me  to  be  done  in  pomp  and  pride  of  myself, 
without  his  most  "gracious  authority,  which  I  have  for  the 
same,  it  should  be  un&inedly  to  my  discomfort,  for  so  much 
as  neither  duty  nor  reason  can  give  me  a  most  poor  and  true 
subject,  to  have  a  sword  borne,  but  only  by  the  honorable 
authority  of  his  Majesty  to  me  granted,  most  unworthy."* 

This,  however,  was  but  a  trivial  affair ;  another  of  his 
letters  presents  him  in  a  less  favourable  aspect.  This  great 
earl  complains  of  poverty,  and  as  the  captain  of  Berwick  was 
not  expected  to  recover  from  illness,  he  asks  for  his  place  and 
offers  a  bribe  of  one  thousand  marks  to  Cromwell,  if  he  would 
procure  it  for  him. 

"Of  a  truth"  says  he,  "the  Captain  of  Berwick,  Sir  Thomas 
dyfford  had  laid  speach,  and  never  likely  to  recover ;  to  which 
rome,f  good  Mr.  Secretary,  I  pray  you  help  me,  whereby  ye 
shall  not  only  recover  a  poor  noble  man  being  in  decay,  but  also 
get  yourself  much  worship,  that  by  your  means  so  poor  a  man 
shall  be  recovered,  as  I  am,  and  bind  me,  my  friends,  and  them 
that  shall  come  after  me,  ever,  (as  never  the  less  I  am  most 
bounden  afore)  next  the  king  our  Maister,  to  be  toward  you  and 
all  yours  during  our  lives.  And  good  Mr.  Secretary,  I  shall  not 
fail  to  give  you  a  1000  marks  for  the  same,  bringing  it  to  pass. 
And  good  Mr.  Secretary  as  my  trust  is  in  you,  do  for  me  now. 
And  Our  Lord  have  you  in  His  keeping.  In  hast,  at  Toplyff 
the  6  Nov.  (1535),  witti  the  rude  and  ragged  hand  of  your  own 
ever  bounden,  most  assuredly  H.  Nobthumberlaio)."} 

The  earl  appears  to  have  been  attached  to  the  reformed 
religion;  but  his  brothers.  Sir  Thomas  and  Sir  Ingram  Percy, 
clung  to  the  old  faith,  and  took  part  in  insurrectionary 
movements  which  influenced  for  a  time  the  fortunes  of  the 
Percy  family.  The  smaller  monasteries  were  dissolved  in 
1536,  and  nearly  ten  thousand  monks  and  nuns  were  set 
loose,  to  inflame  the  passions  of  the  ignorant  and  stir  up 
rebellion.  One  of  the  larger  monasteries  in  the  north,  Hex- 
ham, resisted  by  force  of  arms  the  admission  of  his  majesty's 
commissioners  into  the  abbey.    The  walls  were  bristling  with 

*  SUte  Papers,  V.,  p.  16.        f  Office.         t  State  Papers,  V.,  p.  84. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


artillery^  and  numbers  of  the  tenants  of  the  abbey  and  of  the 
outlawed  Redesdale  men,  who  had  been  summoned  both 
by  the  common  bell  and  the  great  fray  bell,  assembled 
around  the  abbey  armed  ''with  bills,  halberts,  and  other 
defenceable  wapons,  like  men  ready  to  defend  a  town  of 
war."*  Sir  Thomas  Percy  was  at  Hexham  at  this  time 
abetting  this  resistance. 

But  be  was  more  directly  concerned  in  a  more  formidable 
outbreak,  which  was  headed  by  Robert  Aske,  a  man  of 
courage  and  prudence,  and  who  gave  to  the  undertaking  the 
name  of  "  The  Pilgramage  of  Grace."  Sir  Thomas  Percy 
was  actuated  by  interested  motives,  as  well  as  by  a  regard  to 
the  old  religion ;  for,  having  sought  to  be  declared  heir  to 
the  earl  and  been  obstructed  by  the  king  in  the  attainment 
of  his  object,  he  out  of  revenge  joined  this  rebellion.f  He 
raised  as  many  men  as  he  could  in  the  East  Riding  of 
Yorkshire,  and  passed  with  his  followers  through  York  "  in 
complete  harness,  with  feathers  trimmed  as  well  as  he  might 
deck  himself  at  that  time,  shewing  he  did  nothing  constrained 
but  of  a  willing  malicious  stomack  against  his  most  natural 
and  dread  lord."  He  circulated  writings,  placards,  and 
precepts ;  and  then  betook  himself  to  Northumberland  and 
called  to  his  aid  the  notable  offenders  of  Tindale  and 
Hexhamshire — the  Herons,  the  Charltons,  the  Robsons,  and 
others,  famous  freebooters.  He  and  his  brother,  Sir  Ingram, 
summoned  meetings  of  the  gentlemen  of  the  county  at  divers 
places,  under  the  pretence  of  making  arrangements  to  defend 
the  country  against  freebooters ;  one  of  these  meetings  was 
at  Alnwick  Castle,  whence  he  would  not  allow  the  gentlemen 
to  depart  till  they  swore  to  aid  him  in  his  designs ;  but  all 
this  was  done  without  the  authority  of  the  earl,  while  he  was 
lying  sick  at  Wressil.  One  man,  Edward  Bradeforthe,  Sir 
Raynold  Carnaby's  servant,  resisted  the  authority  of  these 
lawless  men,  and  would  not  pay  to  Sir  Ingram  the  rents  of 
his  master's  lands;  but  he  was  seized  by  eighteen  men  whom 
Sir  Ingram  laid  in  wait  for  him ;  and  he  was  taken  by  force 
to  Alnwick  Castle,  laid  in  the  stocks  there  for  two  nights  and 
a  day,  and  kept  in  prison  for  three  days  longer4 

Sir  Thomas  Percy  led  the  first  division  of  the  rebel  army, 
which,  numbering  five  thousand  men,  encamped  near  Don- 
caster;    but  promises  of  pardon   and  of  inquiry  into  the 

*  Raine*!  Memorials  of  Hexham,  I.,  cxxviii. 
t  Froude*8  Appendix  to  the  Pilgrim,  p.  116. 
I  Baine'f  Memorials  of  Hexham,  I.,  cxxxvii. 

Digitized  by 



grievances  complained  of  haying  been  made,  this  fonnidable 
body  disbanded.  No  inquiry  following^  other  plots  were 
formed  with  which  these  Percys  were  connected;  and  Sir 
Thomas  was  seized,  tried,  condemned  as  a  traitor,  at- 
tainted, and  in  1537  executed  at  Tyburn.  The  Ufe  of  Sir 
Ingram  Percy  was  spared ;  but  he  died  soon  after  in  1538. 
Seventy-four  persons  were  hung  on  gibbets  in  chains  in 
Westmoreland  and  Cumberland.  ''The  flame"  says  Froude, 
"  was  trampled  out ;  and  a  touch  of  pathos  hangs  over  its 
close — the  bodies  were  cut  down  and  buried  by  women.** 

The  loss  of  the  object  of  his  early  love  a£fected  the  character 
of  the  earl  of  Northumberland;  he  became  reckless  and 
extravagant  and  plunged  so  deeply  into  debt,  that  he  bore 
the  sobriquet  of  "  Henry  the  Unthrifty,"  and  was  obliged  to 
sell  Poynings  estate  and  other  lands.  With  his  wife  he  lived 
nnhappily;  and  he  separated  from  her.  The  fate  of  his 
brother  he  laid  deeply  to  heart ;  and  as  he  had  no  issue  of 
his  own,  and  his  brother's  children  could  not  inherit  in 
consequence  of  their  father's  attainture,  '*  he  "  says  Dugdale, 
"  gave  away  part  of  his  lands  to  the  king  and  to  others."* 
On  February  the  3rd,  1535,  he  alienated  to  the  king  his 
house  of  Petworth  and  other  lands  in  Sussex,  his  lands  in 
Hackney,  and  large  estates  in  Lincolnshire  and  other  coun- 
ties ;  and  his  other  lands,  by  another  act,  were  settled  on  his 
own  male  issue,  and  then  upon  the  king  and  his  heirs  in 
augmentation  of  the  imperial  crown;  some  provision  was 
reserved  for  his  brothers  and  nephews.  He  died  on  the  SOth 
of  June,  1537,  at  his  house  in  Hackney,  and  was  buried  in 
the  choir  of  Hackney  Church. 

*' Arms. — Quarterly  of  Jive, — I.,  Grand  quarter  of  I,  Percy, 
2,  Beaufort,  3,  Lucy,  4,  Spenser,  (Black  two  ermine 
bars  neoulee).  II.,  Old  Percy.  III.,  Poynings.  IV., 
Fitz-Payne.     V.,  Bryan. 

Crest. — A  lion  passant,  the  tail  extended,  on  a  chapeau. 

Supporters. —  A  lion  rampant  croumed,  and  an  unicorn 
ducally  gorged  and  chained. 
Motto,  on  a  scroll,  *'  JEsperance.**    Mr.  Way  in  Proceedings 

of  Arch.  Inst.,  Newcastle,  p.  305. 

Of  the  heraldry  of  this  earl,  ample  illustrations  occur  in 
the  Herald's  College,  taken  from  standards  and  pennons ; 
and  through  the  kind  permission  of  Mr.  Longstaffe,  I  am 
able  to  present  several  examples,  which  will  be  especially 

•  Dugdale  Bar.  I.,  p.  283. 

Digitized  by 




interesting,  because  giving  not  only  the  Percy  badges,  but 
also  those  of  Poynings  and  Bryan.  And  here  too,  I  express 
my  obligations  to  my  friend  Mr.  Longsta£fe,  for  the  liberal 
use  he  has  given  me  of  the  valuable  wood  cuts  which  illustrate 
the  Percy  heraldry. 

no.  32 

Standard. — "Paly  of  thre pesses  of  thys  colters^  Rosset, 
yeloWy  and  tawny y*  powdered  with  silver  crescents  and  lockets 
separately,  a  blue  lion  passant.  Above  Am,  a  silver  key, 
crowned  with  gold  (for  Poynings),  behind  him,  a  blue  bugle- 
horn  unstringed,  garnished  with  gold  (for  Bryan).  Between 
the  motto-bends,  a  black  falchion  sheathed,  garnished,  pomel- 
led  and  hilted  with  gold  (for  Fitz-Payne).  MS.  Her.  Coll., 
I.,  2.     There  is  no  motto  filled  into  the  original. 

FIQ.  33 


Pennons. — The  same  MS.      "Algernons."      Red,  gold, 
and  rosset,  a  blue  lion  passant  between  three  silver  crescents. 

Digitized  by 




Fia  84 

''Ponynges."  Bos- 
sety  gold,  and  tatony, 
a  silver  unicorn  pas- 
santy  ducally  gorged 
and  chained  in  gold, 
between  three  silver 

Itosset,  gold,  and 
tawny y  a  silver  hoar 
statanty  ducally  gorged 
and  chained  in  gold, 
between  three  silver 

*'  Percy."  Rosset, 
goldy  and  tawny,  a 
silver  panther  statant, 
powdered  with  red 
and  Hue  spots,  and 
crowned  in  gold,  be- 
tween three  stiver  cres- 

Pennon  CELLES.  — 
The  same  MS. 

"Ponjmges."  Hos- 
sefj  gold,  and  tawny, 
the  silver  key  as  be- 

"  Bryan."  Rosset, 
gold,  and  tawny,  the 
bugle-horn  as  before. 

Bed,  rosset,  red, 
and  rosset,  a  silver 

Digitized  by 



"^'®^  ''Percy."    Red  and 

blacky  a  silver  crescent. 
Exactly  ''like  the  pen- 
celes  of  buckram"  used 
by  the  previous  earl 
"painted  of  red  and 
black,  with  crescents 
upon  them." 

The  chief  residence  of  the  earls  of  Northumberland  at 
this  period  was  not  at  Alnwick,  but  at  Wressil  Castle  in 
Yorkshire.  Leland,  who  saw  it  in  1538,  says — ^''The  House 
is  one  of  the  most  propre  beyound  Trente  and  Semeth  newly 
made ;"  yet  it  was  built  in  the  time  of  Richard  II.  It  was 
a  splendid  building ;  but  during  the  great  civil  war  it  was, 
in  1650,  to  a  great  exfent  demolished  by  an  order  of  the 
Council  of  State  *  Lekinfield  Manor  House,  another  prin- 
cipal residence,  is  now  entirely  destroyed.  Leland  says,  "  it 
is  a  large  House,  and  Stondith  within  a  great  mote,  yn  one 
very  spacious  courte."  Though  not  so  magnificent  as  Wressil, 
it  afforded  more  accommodation,  for  there  were  in  it  eighty- 
three  apartments. 

*  In  a  lettar  to  Hngh  Potter,  kept  ttill  in  memory  finom  his  bequest  to  the 
Alnwick  poor,  there  is  an  accoont  of  the  manner  in  which  it  was  destroyed.  See 
Ant  Rep.,  IV.,  p.  S34^  where  there  is  also  a  picture  of  its  remains  in  1770. 

Digitized  by 





Henry  Algernon  Percy,  the  sixth  earl  of  Northumberland, 
dying  without  issue,  and  the  family  of  his  brother  being 
corrupted  in  blood  by  the  attainder  of  their  father  and 
incapable  of  succession,  the  Percy  crescent  was  for  a  time 
eclipsed,  and  the  earldom  became  extinct.  By  his  will,  the 
chief  portion  of  the  earl's  estates  passed  to  the  king ;  and 
twenty  years  went  by  before  this  old  border  family  was 
restored  to  its  dignities  and  estates. 

During  the  greater  part  of  this  interval,  Alnwick  and 
Warkworth  Castles  belonged  to  the  king,  and  were  occupied 
by  one  or  other  of  the  deputy  wardens  of  the  Marches.  The 
border  land  was  then  the  scene  of  frequent  inroads ;  indeed, 
from  this  time  till  James  I.  succeeded  to  the  English  throne, 
there  was  almost  incessant  warfare,  which  was  fearfully 
destructive  to  both  sides  of  the  border. 

From  their  geographical  position,  and  from  the  wild  and 
lawless  character  of  their  inhabitants,  the  borders  were  in  an 
abnormal  condition ;  it  was  only  by  extraordinary  laws  and 
regulations,  that  even  the  semblance  of  order  and  justice 
could  be  maintained.  We  should  have  but  an  imperfect 
notion  of  the  state  of  our  town  and  district,  without  some 
slight  knowledge,  at  least,  of  March  laws  and  usages ;  as  they 
reveal  a  state  of  society  strangely  disorganised.  As  early  as 
1249  a  series  of  border  laws  was  agreed  to  by  both  nations  ; 


Digitized  by 



more  particular  regulations  were  made  in  the  reigns  of  Henry 
VI.  and  Edward  lY. ;  and  fresh  arrangements  were  entered 
into^  as  circumstauces  demanded^  in  subsequent  reigns^  until 
the  two  nations  were  united  under  one  king. 

Wardens  were  appointed^  both  by  the  Scottish  and  English 
kings,  and  invested  with  great  powers  to  defend  the  borders 
against  aggression,  and  to  administer  justice  in  their  Warden 
Courts.  Along  the  borders  at  conyenient  places,  the  principal 
of  which  were  Redden  Burn  and  Campaspeth,  wardens  of 
both  sides  met  to  judge  offences  committed  by  the  subjects  of 
either  realm  against  the  other;  these  meeting  were  called  days 
of  Trewes  ;  and  punishments  were  awarded  m  accordance  with 
old  established  usage,  or  with  written  law.  Offenders  who 
fled,  were  by  the  warden  chased  or  pursued  in  Hot  Trodd, 
with  hound  and  horn,  and  with  hue  and  cry ;  and  it  was 
lawful  to  continue  the  chase  into  the  opposite  borders,  and 
to  bring  the  offender,  when  caught,  withm  the  warden's  own 
jurisdiction  for  trial  and  punishment. 

On  the  English  side  there  were  a  warden  general,  a  deputy 
warden  general,  and  three  deputy  wardens,  one  each  for  the 
East,  West,  and  Middle  Marches.  In  time  of  war  their 
duties  were  important ;  and  as  they  had  to  contend  with  an 
enemy  always  on  the  alert  and  practised  in  surprisals  and 
ambuscades,  a  complicated  system  of  watching  both  by  night 
and  by  day  was  adopted.  In  the  smallest  March,  the  eastern, 
in  which  was  Alnwick,  two  hundred  and  three  watchers  were 
engaged  at  night  and  seventeen  by  day.  The  total  number 
thus  occupied  throughout  the  whole  of  the  eastern  border 
cannot  be  precisely  ascertained;  but  I  do  not  think  they 
would  amount  to  less  than  two  thousand  men.  The  order 
of  the  watches  made  in  October,  1552,  by  Lord  Wharton, 
Lord  Deputy  General  of  all  the  three  Marches,  under  my 
Lord  of  Northumberland's  Grace,  has  been  preserved ;  and 
as  it  is  not  only  curious  in  itself,  but  gives  information  of  the 
names  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  borders,  I  shall  give  those 
portions  which  refer  to  Alnwick  and  the  district  around  it. 

"  The  Watch  to  be  kept  from  Hodgecroft  to  Eung-hole  (Eoug- 
hell  *)  to  be  watched  nightly  with  Ten  Men  of  the  Inhabitors  of 
Whyttell,  ShelbotteU,  Bylton,  Over-boston,  Woddon,  Nether- 
boston-grange,  and  Berling ;  Setters  and  Seardiers,  Bughle  and 
Snepe  house. 

•  Ruglcy. 

Digitized  by 



From  Mozy-fopd  xmto  Birk  liill  or  Kirk-hill*  of  Alnwyck-more, 
to  be  Watehed  nightly  with  Six  men  in  the  watdi  of  the 
Inhabitors  of  Alnwyck-more. 

From  Ohryatofer  Armorers  to  Sheplegate  yaite  to  be  watched 
xughtly  with  Fourteen  men  of  the  Inhabitors  of  Longhoutton, 
Ekiouthe,  Lesberry,  Ankle,  f  Denyke,  Broxfeld,  Ekle,J  Berne- 
yardes,  Belvzate,  Cany-gate,  and  Walker-gate;  Setters  and 
Searchers  of  these  Watches  the  Keepers  of  the  West  Parkes, 
Anwyke  and  Hull-park. 

Overseers  of  the  said  Watches,  Sir  Robert  EUerker,  Benight, 
Geoi^e  Mede^lfe,  William  Harrysone,  and  Geo.  Carre. 

The  Passages  to  be  kept  betwixt  GDherslehaughe  and  the  New- 
ton, with  several  watches  nightly,  and  thereto  is  appointed  the 
Inhabitants  of  the  Towns  and  Hamlets  from  Felton-briggend 
to  Caldiche-park,  by  west  the  Streyte';  Setters  and  Searchers, 
William  Johnstone,  Thomas  Bobinson,  John  Meele,  and  Eobert 

From  the  Newton  to  Liersheld  to  be  watched  by  two  Men 
nightly,  and  thereto  is  appointed  the  Town  of  Edlingtone  and 
the  Newtone. 

From  Liersheld  to  Bawtonne  §  to  be  watched  with  two  Men 
nightly,  and  thereto  is  appointed  the  Town  of  Lemeden,  and  the 
Broome-Parke;  Searchers  and  Setters  of  these  two  Watches, 
Bobert  Manners,  and  Bobert  Killingworthe. 

Qyerseers  of  this  Watch  Bobert  Lysle  and  Thomas  Swinburne. 

From  Bowton  to  Tetlington  to  be  watched  with  two  Men 
nightiy,  and  thereto  ia  appointed  Bowton,  Aberwyke,  and  Hhe 

From  Tetlin^n  to  Haroppeswyer  by  North  the  Hill,  to  be 
watched  with  eight  Men  nigntly  of  the  Inhabitors  of  Tetlingtone, 
Basden,|{  Sheplay,  Est-Ditchbume,  West  Ditchbume,  Egling- 
ham,  and  Haropp ;  Setters  and  Searchers  of  these  two  watches 
Cathbert  Mowe,  John  Wethered  and  the  Qreeve  of  Tetlingtone. 
Overseers,  Edward  Bednell,  John  Bellingham,  Luke  Ogle,  and 
Bauf  Collingwood. 

The  watch  to  be  set  from  Bauf  Lillies  House  to  Cokkett,  with 
Four  Men  nightly  of  the  Inhabitors  of  West  Chevingtone,  Eshott, 
Therstone  and  Bokenfield ;  George  Matroke  and  William  Hud- 
8one  to  be  Setters  and  Searchers  of  these  two  Watches. 

Overseers,  John  Heron  and  Anthony  Heron. 

The  Watch  to  be  kept  from  Wetherington-Park-nook  to 
Ookket,  with  Fourteen  Men  nightly,  and  thereto  is  appointed 
Inhabitors  of  Wetherington,  Dreredge,  Est  Chevingtone,  Had- 
ston,   AiokHngton,    Toxden,    Haxlaye,    Warkworthe,   Ambell, 

*  Both  names  are  given,  but  Birk  hill  is  the  more  probable,  ns  the  place  was 
on  Alnwick  Moor ;  K  has  been  mistaken  for  B. 

f  Hawkhill.  I  Hecklej.  )  Bolton.  ||  Bassington. 

Digitized  by 



Qloster-hill  and  Moryke:  Betters  and  SearcherSi  John  Eenwyke, 
Edward  Tremble,  John  Harford,  Edward  CHerk,  John  Wilson, 
and  Persevall  Wylkynsone. 

Overseers  of  these  Watches,  Ser  John  Wethermeton,  Knight, 
John  Heron,  John  Wetherington  and  [Oiomas  Finc^e. 

The  names  of  the  Watch  Places  and  number  of  the  Towns 
thereimto  appointed  by  Edward  Bradford,  Bayllif^  of  Emylton 
and  So  to  South-Charlton. 

The  Town  of  South  Charlton  and  Bennington  to  Keep  Watch 
with  three  Men  nightly  at  the  (Mlow. 

The  Town  of  Stanford  and  Eoke  to  keep  watch  with  three 
Men  nightly  at  the  Scotts  CJlose-nooke. 

The  TowTi  of  North  Charlton  and  Eock  to  keep  watch  with 
three  Men  nightly  at  the  binding  rate. 

The  Town  of  Howicke  and  Craister  to  keep  watch  with  three 
Men  nightly,  at  the  Kamelaw. 

The  Towns  of  Dunstane  and  Newton  to  keep  watch  with  three 
Men  nightly  at  Archeford. 

The  Town  of  Emylton  to  keep  watch  nightly  with  three  Men 
at  Pyethe-nook. 

Edward  Bradforthe  and  the  Bayliff  of  North  Charlton  to  be 
Setters  and  Searchers  of  the  said  Watches. 

The  night  watchers  were  set  at  the  day-going,  and  con- 
tinued at  their  stations  until  the  day  was  light;  the  day 
watchers  begun  their  duty  at  day  light,  and  continued  until 
the  day  was  gone.  It  was  the  duty  of  every  watch,  on 
observing  the  approach  of  an  enemy  or  suspected  person,  to 
give  the  alarm  by  blowing  of  horn,  by  shout  or  outcry,  and 
all  men  were  bound,  on  pain  of  death,  to  arise  and  follow 
the  fray  with  hue  and  cry  on  horse  or  on  foot.  Whoever 
captured  offenders  was  rewarded;  and  goods  rescued  from 
thieves  were  restored  to  the  owners  on  paying  for  their  rescue. 
No  man  could  harbour  or  help  any  rebel,  fugitive,  felon, 
murderer,  whether  Englishman  or  Scotsman,  upon  pain  of 
death ;  and  no  subject  could  even  speak  with  a  Scotsman 
without  license  from  the  warden.  All  persons  coming  within 
the  limits  of  the  watch  were  examined ;  and  those,  who  were 
not  known,  were  brought  before  the  bailiffs  and  constables, 
and  if  suspected,  they  were  sent  to  gaol  till  tried  by  the 
warden.  It  will  be  observed,  that  the  regulations  of  the 
watch  were  stringent;  men  were  appointed  to  set  on  the 
watchmen,  others  as  searchers  to  visit  the  stations  to  see  that 
the  watchmen  were  wakeful  and  vigilant,  and  above  these 
again  were  overseers,  who  were  the  chief  men  of  the  county, 
and  it  was  their  place  to  see  that  the  watch  duty  was 
efficiently  performed,  and  to  report  from  time  to  time,  the 

Digitized  by 



state  of  their  Thatches  to  the  deputy  warden.    The  following 

letter  from  Lord  Wharton  to  these  gentlemen  searchers  is 

interesting : — 

*'  I  require  and  will  you,  in  the  Kings  Majesties  Name,  that  ye  make  due 
search  throughout  all  the  said  Watches,  upon  Sonday  Night  next,  the  15th  of 
this  Instant :  And  wherein  you  shall  find  any  default,  that  you  give  charge 
to  the  Officers  where  such  Defaults  are,  to  bring  unto  me  to  AJnowyke, 
immediately  the  Offenders,  with  Declaration  in  Writing  from  you,  in  what 
order  you  do  find  the  said  Watches ;  and  also,  that  from  time  to  time,  so 
often  as  your  discretion  shall  think  requisite,  you  make  substantial  search 
throughout  your  Limits,  sending  the  Offenders  unto  me  in  form  as  before ; 
and  upon  Saturday,  which  shall  be  the  Twenty  eight  Day  of  this  present 
Month  of  January,  that  you  certifie  me  by  your  Letters  to  be  sent  to  Alne- 
wyke,  how  the  same  Watches  are  continued  and  kept,  and  so  every  Saturday 
monthly,  fr^om  the  said  28th  to  make  your  Certificate  to  Alnewyke, 

where  the  same  shall  be  received  :  And  that  you  give  knowledge  to  aU  the 
Officers  and  Subjects  within  your  Circuit  of  Watch,  That  whosoever  doth  not 
observe  and  keep  the  said  Watch,  and  ryse  to  Fray  and  following,  shall  be 
punished  accordmg  to  the  Laws  of  the  Bealm,  and  Commandments  given  for 
the  same :  Fail  you  not  hereof,  as  ye  tender  the  Kings  Majesties  Heasure, 
the  common  wealth  of  the  Countrey,  and  will  answer  at  your  periU.  And 
heartily  fare  you  well. — At  the  Castile  of  Alnewyke,  the  11th  of  January." 

As  a  further  protection  against  inroads,  measures  were 
adopted  to  give  artificial  defences  to  the  country.  "  Con- 
sidering that  help  lyeth  in  strengthening  the  Country  with 
Inclosures^  Hedges,  and  Ditches,"  the  wardens  order,  that 
portions  of  land  convenient  for  tillage,  meadows,  or  grassing, 
should  be  enclosed  with  ditches  five  quarters  in  breadth,  and 
six  in  depth,  double  set  with  quickwood,  and  hedged  above 
three  quarters  high.  Commissioners  were  appointed,  to 
direct  where  the  enclosures  should  be  made,  and  also  to 
cause  unnecessary  fords  and  passages  by  water  and  land  to 
be  stopped  up.  The  following  are  those  appointed  for  the 
district  around  Alnwick  : — 

"  Between  the  Waters  of  Cokett  and  Ayll  from  Lierchd-bume 
to  the  Sea.  Robert  Lisle  of  Felton,  Thomas  Swinburne  of 
Edlingham,  John  BedneU  of  Lematone,  George  Fen  wyke  of 
Brenk-bum,  George  Metcalfe  of  Alnewyke,  Henry  Heron  of 

From  Wamebrigg  to  the  Water  of  the  Aill  as  Bambrough- 
shere  goeth.  Sir  John  Horgley,  Knight,  Sir  John  Foster, 
Knight,  Francis  Armorer  of  Belforth,  Bowland  Bradforth  of 
Tuggill,  George  Carr  of  Lesbury,  Edward  Bradforth  of  Emylton. 

From  Ihe  Watet  of  Aill  to  Hetton-bume,  on  the  East  side  of 
Tyll,  imto  Bambrough-shere,  Eauf  Grey,  Deputy  Warden,  Sir 
Eobert  Ellerker  Knight,  Tho.  Hebbume  of  Hebbume,  Rob. 
CoUingwood  of  Bewyke,  Thomas  Carlisle  of  Haslerigg,  Luke 
Ogle  of  Eglingham."* 

*  Legea  Marchianim,  by  Nicholson. 

Digitized  by 



Great  baronial  and  royal  castles  there  were  for  the  defence 
of  the  borders,  such  as  Alnwick^  Dunstanburgh,  Bamburgh, 
Warkworth,  Chillingham,  and  Edlingham ;  but,  in  addition, 
the  whole  district  was  studded  over  with  peles,  or  fortified 
houses,  which  were  square  or  oblong  towers — similar  to  the 
keep  of  a  small  castle — ^with  stone  walls  of  great  thickness^ 
and  with  the  lower  storey  vaulted,  from  which  a  narrow 
winding  stone  stair  led  to  the  dwelling  rooms  above.  But 
in  time  the  entrance  door  to  these  rooms  was  on  the  second 
storey,  which  was  reached  by  a  ladder  or  wooden  stair  which 
could  easily  be  removed ;  a  communication  could  be  made 
from  there  to  the  under  room,  as  at  Akeld  Pele,  through  a 
square  opening  in  the  centre  of  the  vault.  Scattered  around 
these  peles  and  protected  by  them  were  the  cottages,  forming 
the  vill  or  little  town ;  and  when  a  raid  swept  across  the 
borders,  the  people  took  refuge  in  these  strongholds,  and 
cattle  and  moveable  goods  were  placed  for  safety  in  the 
vaulted  chamber.  Without  such  defences  the  border  land 
would  have  been  uninhabitable.  In  Alnwick  parish,  besides 
the  embattled  abbeys,  there  were  peles  at  Highfarlaw,  at 
Rugley,  at  St.  Margarets,  and  at  Hobberlaw.  There  were 
larger  towers— or  small  castles  at  Preston  and  Rock ;  pele 
towers  there  were  at  Bilton,  Shilbottle,  Howick,  Craster, 
Little  Houghton,  Abberwick,  Lemmington,  Whittingham, 
Bewick ;  and  indeed  wherever  a  military  vassal  resided  on 
his  own  land :  church  towers,  too,  as  at  Longhoughton  and 
other  places,  were  fortified  peles. 

The  whole  county  was  converted,  indeed,  into  a  great 
military  camp.  The  vastness  of  the  precautionary  plans 
indicates  the  extent  of  the  danger,  and  shews  how  insecure 
both  life  and  property  were  at  this  period.  When  so  much 
time  and  energy  were  spent  on  military  preparations  and 
defences,  and  when,  moreover,  inroads  were  so  frequent  and 
destructive,  not  only  the  cultivation  of  the  soil,  but  all  the 
productive  industries  of  the  county  must  have  been  in  a  low 
condition.  Fortunate  it  was  fox  Alnwick,  that  she  was  now 
defended  by  strong  embattled  walls  and  towers. 

By  law  every  free  man  was  bound  to  bear  his  share  in 
public  burdens,  to  defend  his  country  and  keep  watch  and 
ward ;  and  this  duty  especially  devolved  on  the  men  of  the 
borders.  The  whole  able  bodied  population  were  therefore 
trained  to  the  use  of  arms;  and  bound  to  assemble  on  the  muster 
days  of  the  respective  wards,  when  summoned  by  the  king's 
commission.     A  muster  day  was  greatly  more  important  than 

Digitized  by 




a  review  day  of  the  present  time.  "  There  is  never  a  plough 
going  in  Norhamshire  nor  Bamhurghshire  that  dav;  it  is 
their  principal  feast.  Every  plough  has  his  crown  for  mus- 
tering that  day."*  The  land  at  that  time^  especially  near 
the  borders,  lay  in  small  holdings  of  five  marks  each ;  and 
every  such  tenant  was  bound  to  appear  with  horse  and  armour. f 
Yet  some  endeavoured  to  shirk  this  duty ;  fraud  had  been 
practised  at  these  musters ;  they  were  not  fiiU ;  and  hence  a 
command  was  given  in  1558  to  the  earl  of  Northumberland^ 
then  warden,  to  cause  discreet  gentlemen,  who  were  neither 
Northumbrian  nor  border  men,  to  go  in  a  secret  manner  to 
take  the  numbers,  and  see  how  many  were  wanting,  how 
many  were  Northumberland  men,  ana  how  many  were  in- 
land men.  And  this  was  done,  for  the  warden  is  afterwards 
commended  for  his  diligence. 

A  muster  of  the  men  of  Coquetdale  and  a  part  of  Hamburgh 
Ward  was  held  in  1538  on  Abberwick  Moor ;  and  the  record 
of  it,  among  the  public  muniments,  tells  us  of  the  men  of 
Alnwick  who  appeared  there.  Some  were  on  foot  armed 
with  a  helmet,  coat  and  plate,  bow  or  bill ;  others  had  horse 
and  harness.  On  this  occasion,  six  hundred  and  forty  horse- 
men and  eight  hundred  and  eighty  footmen  mustered  on  the 
moor.  The  following  is  a  list  of  the  men  from  Alnwick 
Parish,  j;  Some  few  of  the  present  inhabitants  of  the  district 
may  find  the  names  of  their  ancestors  there — the  Thews, 
the  Stamps,  the  Strothers,  the  Rennisons ;  the  Bustons  and 
Wilkinsons  of  Buston  were  there  too;  the  Tyndales  and 
Douglas  from  Chatton ;  the  Elders  from  Longhoughton. 

"  The  avewe  of  nmsters  takyn  by  Sir  Cuthbt.  Radclffe,  Enight  Constable 
Kin^  Castell  of  Allnwyke  and  Bobt.  CoUingwode,  Eaquyere,  the  zvii  and 
xviii  day  of  Apryle,  the  xxxti  yere  of  our  Souerayne  Lorae  Kizige  Henry  the 
Eight,  takyn  on  Abberwyk  More,  &c. 


Sni  Cuthbt. 


and  his  hote^ 

hond  ScruanU 

Edwazde  Baddyffe 
Antomr  Macheu 
John  Cartington 

John  Cartington 

the  Elder 
Evchert  HowcaateU 
Tnomas  BobynBon 
Bobt.  Chessman 
Bobt.  G(rayes 

Gylbt.  Byrk 
Bauf  e  Gi^e 
Henry  Jakson 
John  Harbottell 
Bog.  Smythe 
(>eorg  Erington 
John  Ayden 
SadeU  mm  in  horse  and  harness, 
Thomas  Marcam 
Patryke  Hopkyrk 
Ahle  men  not  horsid. 

«  Col.  of  State  Ptpen.    Foreigh  Bliz.,  1558.  f  Ibid* 

X  Archteologia  ^liana,  lY.,  p«  159. 

Digitized  by 




The  Abbot  of       Perscevall  GkJlon 
Allnwtks         John  Gkdlon 
SeruanU,  Alleyne  SchafiEto 

Gheorg  Bedlande 
Robt.  Porster 
Thomas  Hudson 
John  Thomson 
MabU  in  horu  and  hornet. 

The  Esbpbbs  of  thb  Kinds  Pabks 
Colleg  Farke 

Hew©  Gallon 
Willme  Clennell 
Edward  Harbottell 
Herry  Staruder 
Adam  Vrpethe 
Edwarde  Henyson 
Willme  Herryson 
John  Sawghelld 
Willme  Armerer 
John  Carr,  bailey 
of  Bowmer 
Able  mm  with  horse  and  hernes. 

EuU  Parke 

The  West 

The  TowMB  of      Charles  Heslope 
Allnwykb         John  Wyllson  the 
Thomas  Stampe 
John  Willson 
Thomas  Ayre 
Thomas  Ley 
John  Anderson 
Rychert  Benet 
Edward  Thomson 
Rye  Taller 
John  Selle 
Charles  Stampe 
Thomas  Herryson 
John  Atkinson 
Thomas  Edster 
George  Carslay 
John  Herryson 
Edwarde  I^adyman 
John  Taller 
Bobt.  Herde 
John  NychoUson 
Bobt.  Bert 
Nycholas  Chaneler 
Hewe  Bennet 
Thomas  Hatte 
John  Atkinson 
Wellme  Bednell 
Nycholas  Bobynson 
Georg.  Clarkson 
Percevalle  Gallon 
Alk  men  with  horse  and  harness. 


Willme  Rede 
Edward  Carsley 
The  nefw  cuy'd 

AxwTKB  Walker 

James  Yonge 
Nycholas  Arkley 
John  Hume 
John  Dawffles 
Thomas  Thyrkeld 
Thomas  Anwvke 
Edward  GrycUey 
Hdnry  Watson 
Thomas  Cutter 
Bane  Sadler 
Henry  Jobson 
Willme  Horton 
Willme  Newton 
Thomas  Kethe 
Willme  Bower 
Thomas  Charson 
Willme  Swayne 
(Jeoi^  Humley 
John  Clay 
Thomas  Claude 
John  Clay 
Lenard  Stell 
Cuthbt.  Myllner 
Robert  Clay 
James  Scott 
Rye  Elando 
Rye  Clay 
Geoiv  Person 
Charles  Hall 
Thomas  Taller 
Rolande  Browne 
James  Tyndell 
Edmonde  Stroder 
John  Davson 
John  Nellson 
Willme  Dobe 
Vswolde  Staimger 
Rye  Browell 
Robt.  Clarke 
Rynvone  Stroder 
Nycholas  Smythe 
Rye  Taller  the  elder 
Nycholas  Watson 
Gteorge  HuUe 
Edwarde  Awgoode 
Willme  Robynson 
Lyonell  Borell 
Willme  Wobbe 
Wilkne  Tayller 
James  Halle 
Rog.  Herryson 
WiUme  Watson 
Henry  Spumell 
John  Archeer 
George  Masson 
Rye.  Browne 
George  Gvbson 
John  Tayller 

Digitized  by 




Ajxwtkm  HemyLang 

Thomas  D^aon 
Bobt.  Store 
Weim  the  taller 
Bobt.  Mason 
Cathbt.  BeU 
Willme  Thomson 
G^Tge  Passe 
Leonard  Fazyley 
John  Watson 
Henry  Watson 
Thomas  Eawerd 

ANe  mm  wimtyng  korse  and  hameu, 

Bbnnxk  Bye.  GySing 

belonging  to         Bobt.  Anderson 

AxrwTE,  Willme  Makson 

Boland  Dobynson 
John  Gibson 
Bye.  Qibson 
Henry  Boddene 
John  Clarke 
John  Thewe 
AN^  men  with  hone  and  hamee* 

Dbmnik  John  Newis 

belonging  to         Willme  MyUs 
AirwYK  Wilhne  I^hton 

Thomas  Gybson 
Georg.  Foster 
Willme  Waller 
Able  men  wanting  horte  and  hamee. 

ScHBLLDYK  Thomas  Stotte 

belonging  to         Wyllme  Bobson 
Anwyk  John  Btdl 

G^rg  Herryson 
Bobt.  Dykenson 
John  Dykenson 
Ed.  Blythe 
Ed.  Bobson 
Thomas  Bobson 
John  Watson 
Able  men  wanting  horse  and  homes, 

BuoLBT  Bobi  Banalldson 

Bobt  Stanton 
John  Stanton 
Thomas  Fattonson 
'Thomas  Slenes 
Bye.  Browne 
Bobt  Stelle 

AUe  mm  wanting  horse  and  hamesJ*- 

This  muster  may  be  regarded  as  the  militia  of  the  period ; 
and  at  this  time^  Alnwick  Parish  furnished  171  soldiers^  of 
whom  75  were  cavalry  and  96  footmen ;  from  the  number  of 
the  horsemen^  it  is  evident  that  there  were  many  landowners 
in  the  parish. 

These  musters  shew  that  many  towns  in  the  district  had 
then  a  larger  population  than  at  present — ^Alnham  furnished 
22  men,  Bolton  25,  Abberwyk  16,  Lemmington  22,  Effling- 
ham  and  Bewick  110,  West  Lilbum  35,  Bamburgh  46, 
Beadnel  70,  Fowberry  37,  Bock  19,  Stamford  23,  Boseden 
86,  Haaaildon  80,  Doddington  47. 

Alnwick  was  the  head  quarters  of  all  this  complicated 
organisation  for  the  defence  of  the  borders;  and  there  a 
Warden  Court  was  held  with  all  the  solemn  formalities 
observed  in  the  superior  courts  of  the  realm,  for  the  trial  of 
offenders  against  March  law;  and  often,  indeed,  criminals 
condemned  in  this  court  were  executed  at  Alnwick. 

A  few  other  illustrations  of  border  movements,  taken  chiefly 
from  the  public  records,  besides  contributing  to  the  historv 
of  Alnwick  with  which  they  are  more  or  less  connected,  will 
throw  a  broad  light  on  the  character  of  the  period. 

The  marquis  of  Dorset  was  warden  of  the  East  and  Middle 
Marches  in  1523 ;  and  Lord  Dacre  the  other  warden,  made  a 


Digitized  by 



raid  into  Teviotdale  and  burnt  Beveral  villages,  rettmiing 
with  a  booty  of  four  thousand  head  of  cattle.  Writing  from 
Alnwick  on  the  15th  of  April  to  the  king,  Dorset  sent  a  list 
of  the  gentlemen  who  went  with  Lord  Dacre  on  this  raid. 

**  Humbly  beseeching  his  Grace  to  write  letters  of  thanks  to 
these  gentlemen,  which  letters  shall  be  so  comfortable,  that 
remembering  your  goodness,  they  shall  be  encouraged  from  time 
to  time  to  serve  your  Highness.^'  '*  These  be  the  names  of  the 
gentlemen  that  went  with  my  Lord  Dacre  thelast  Bode :  my  Lord 
Dacre  himself ;  Sir  Will.  Percy;  Sir  Henry  Clifford ;  Biereton 
with  100  of  my  Lord  lieutenant's  men ;  100  men  of  Sir  William 
Oompton  with  certain  captains  with  them ;  William  Heron  the 
senior ;  the  bastard  Qrey ;  John  Gfrey  of  Chipdbiase  with  all  the 
name  of  the  Herons  and  their  kin ;  Sir  William  Lisle ;  Balph 
Fenwick  with  all  his  name  and  friends  and  men  of  l^edale ; 
Philip  Dacres  with  all  Eedesdale  men :  Bobert  Oollm^ood  with 
all  his  servants  and  kinsmen  ;  the  Lord  Ogle  with  all  his  name 
and  friends. "  **  These  gentlemen  were  omitted  in  my  last  letters 
and  accompanied  me  in  tilie  said  Bode :  Sir  WilHam  Kynson  with 

30  with  him  ;  Sir  Balph who  continually  lyes  with  me 

here  in  Alnwick  whom  I  might  not  well  spare ;  my  brother  John 
who  took  the  gowte  in  the  said  Bode  and  never  came  out  of  his 
bed  since ;  my  brother  Leonard."* 

The  Earl  of  Surrey,  who  had  led  the  van  of  the  English 
army  at  Flodden,  was  appointed  to  the  chief  command  of  the 
war  against  Scotland  in  15^3 ;  and  he  made  another  raid 
into  Mers  and  Teviotdale,  burnt  Jedburgh  and  reduced  to 
ruins  the  Abbey,  one  of  the  most  beautiful  examples  of 
Gothic  architecture  in  Scotland.  Vigorous  measures  he  took 
also  for  the  defence  of  the  borders.  To  deprive  the  Scots 
of  forage  on  the  English  side,  he  caused  all  the  corn 
within  five  or  six  miles  of  the  borders  to  be  thrashed  and 
carried  further  into  the  country;  he  gave  warning  to  all 
towns  and  villages,  that  if  they  were  besieged  by  the  Scots, 
they  should  be  burnt ;  and  he  fortified  and  furnished  Wark 
and  Norham  Castles  to  enable  them  to  stand  a  si^e. 
Beacons  were  made  to  warn  the  country  of  coming 
danger ;  and  he  summoned  all  the  gentlemen  of  the  county 
to  meet  him  at  Alnwick  to  advise  them  where  their  men 
should  assemble.  Berwick,  which  was  in  the  greatest 
danger,  he  fortified,  as  far  as  he  could,  and  increased  its 
garrison.  The  fords  in  the  rivers  were  destroyed,  to  prevent 
the  Scots  doing  hurt,  by  stealth,  to  Islandshire,  Norhamshire, 

•  CottODian  MSS.  C»l.  B.  VI. 

Digitized  by 



Bambui^hshire,  and  Glendale ;  many  times  previously  this 
had  been  attempted,  but  the  English  borderers  themselves 
were  hostile  to  it^  because  the  want  of  these  fords  would 
restrain  them  from  making  raids  into  Scotland.*  Siu'rey 
was  at  Alnwick  on  May  4^  1523;  and  to  encourage  the 
patriotism  of  the  people,  he  said  he  would  pay  sixpence  a 
day  to  those  in  the  bishoprick  who  had  done  good  service.f 

Wark  Castle  was  besieged  by  the  Scots  without  success, 
Surrey,  in  a  letter  to  Wolsey,  says — "At  the  assault  of 
Wark  the  captain  of  the  first  band  of  French  footmen,  that 
came  to  Scotland,  was  slain  and  9  more  with  him,  and  the 
same  night  died  22  more,  and  8  score  sore  hurt.  Never  did 
men  better  than  they  within  the  castle  did,  which  were  but 
one  hundred,  and  there  was  within  the  bas  Court  about 
1,000  men  and  500  Scots."} 

A  large  army  was  marshalled  at  Alnwick  in  November 
1523  to  oppose  the  Duke  of  Albany's  attempt  to  take  Wark 
Castle.  Surrey  was  there  on  the  5th,  and  was  joined  by  the 
earl  of  Northumberland  and  other  nobles.  The  advance  of 
these  forces  towards  Scotland,  which  had  for  some  time  been 
deluged  by  ''marvellous  rainy  weather,"§  caused  the  siege 
of  Wark  to  be  abandoned;  and  as  the  winter  advanced 
active  hostilities  were  suspended.  In  1525  a  treaty  of  peace 
between  the  two  nations  was  concluded.  The  vigorous 
measures  taken,  by  James  Y.  after  he  assumed  the  reins  of 
government  in  Scotland,  helped  much  to  bring  the  border 
land  under  the  government  of  law ;  border  chieftains,  who 
had  been  guilty  of  excesses  he  brought  to  justice ;  some  of 
the  more  notorious,  such  as  Adam  Scot,  the  King  of  the 
Thieves,  and  the  famous  John  Armstrong,  were  beheaded  or 
hung  on  growing  trees;  others  were  imprisoned.  These 
remedies  were  severe ;  but  the  deeply  seated  disease  required 
sharp  remedies.  || 

The  constant  state  of  warfare  along  the  borders  nursed 
among  border  men  a  lawlessness  which  led  them  to  set  at 
defiance  even  the  rulers  of  their  own  country ;  of  this,  the 
conduct  of  Sir  William  Lisle,  of  Felton,  is  a  remarkable 
example.  Sir  William  EUerker,  the  sheriff,  sent  his  servants 
in  1526  to  execute  a  replevin  against  him,  for  an  unlawful 
distress   which    he   had    made.      This    turbulent    knight 

•  State  Papers,  Vol  IV.,  p.  41-43.        f  Cal.  Scot  State  Papers,  Vol.  L 

t  Cott  MSB.  CaL  B.  YI.        {  State  Papers,  Vol  IV,  p.  52. 

II  Ellis's  original  letter.  Vol  I. 

Digitized  by 



Tiewed  this  as  an  affront,  and  accompanied  by  a  hundred 
persons,  he  riotously  took   away  from  the   sheriff's  estate 
'^40  hede  of  noote;"   and  he  told  the  sheriff,  that  neither 
the  king  nor  any  of  his  officers  should  meddle  within  his 
lordship.    A  fearless  man  was  Sir  William ;  for  while  Roger 
Heron  was  supporting  the  sheriff,  lisle  told  him — "What? 
meanes  thowe  to  strive  with  me  ?  woU  thowe  wynne  any 
thing  at  my  handes  ?    I  have  ruffelde  with  the  warden  and 
also  with  the  Cardinall,  and  I  trust  to  pluck  him  by  the 
nose."    For  these  lawless  deeds  Lisle  along  with  his  son 
were  committed  for  trial  to  Pomfret  Castle,  whence  they 
were  removed  to  the  jail  of  the  Castle  of  Newcastle.     Soon, 
however,  they  broke  the  prison,  and  not  only  escaped,  but 
also  released    many  rebels,  outlaws,  heinous  felons,  and 
murderers;  they  then  feloniously  stole  from  Widdrington, 
which  belonged  to  the  sheriff,  nigh  to  forty  horses,  and  con- 
veyed them  into  Scotland;  next,  accompanied  by  Scotsmen, 
they  burnt,  spoiled,  and  robbed  a  town  belonging  to  the 
sheriff.    The  whole  country  seems  to  have  been  alarmed  by 
those  lawless  proceedings.  At  the  assizes  both  Sir  William  and 
his  son  were  indicted  of  treason  and  proclaimed  traitors ;  Sir 
William  Clifford  was  especially  charged  to  apprehend  and 
take  them,  and  the  king  of  Scotland  and  earl  of  Angus  were 
requested  by  letter  from  the  King's  Council  to  aid  in  their 
capture.     The  Lisles,  however,  had  taken  refuge  in  the  de- 
bateable  land,  and  joined  with  the  broken  men  of  the  border, 
particularly  with  a  band  of  thieves  called  the  Armstrongs. 
Sundry  times   they  entered  Northumberland    and    burnt, 
spoiled,  robbed,  rieved,  and  harried  many  of  the  king's  sub- 
jects.   The  people  of  Northumberland  appearing  to  use  no 
diligence  in  resisting  these  agressions,  the  King's  Council 
ordered  Sir  William  Eure,  one  of  the  vice-wardens,  to  lye  at 
Felton  with  thirty  horsemen  from  the  garrison  of  Berwick, 
along  with  sixty  of  his  own  men,  that  he  might  be  able  to 
-  seize  on  the  Lisles  should  they  resort  there ;   and  certain 
woods  and  houses  were  destroyed,  which  might  afford  shelter 
to  these  outlaws.    By  these  vigorous  measures  the  Lisles 
were  soon  brought  to  bay.     The  earl  of  Northumberland,  in 
a  letter  to  the  king,  dated  Alnwick,  28th  January,  1527, 
tells  the  result : — 

« The  2lBt  day  of  January  on  Edward  Horslay  my  Lord 
Legattes  servant,  and  Thomas  Emngton,  my  servant,  wim  other 
of  my  Lord  Legatte's  tenants  and  mine  made  affiray  upon 
William  Gharleton,    otherwise  called  Wylliam  of  Shotelyngton, 

Digitized  by 



the  head  rebel  of  all  the  outlawsi  and  on  Haire  Noble,  Archbold 
Dood,  and  Boger  Axmestran^ ;  which  foresaid  rebellions  person- 
ages had  been  in  the  Bishoprick  of  Durham,  and  robbed  diyers 
persons,  and  taken  away  a  priest  then  a  prisoner ;  and  in  their 
return  and  conflict  was  slain  the  foresaid  Oharlton  and  Noble, 
and  Dood  and  Armestrang  taken.  Which  two  were  condemned 
at  a  Warden  Court,  by  me  holden  for  the  same  the  27  of  Janu- 
ary; and  for  the  outrageous  crimes  by  the  said  Armestrang 
oommitted  and  done  about  NewcasteU,  I  caused  him  to  be 
hanged  there  in  ohabis,  and  Archbald  Dood  in  like  case  at 
Awnewyke  where  he  had  most  offended  and  WyUiam  Ohaileton 
at  Hexsam,  and  Harre  Noble  at  Heyddon  Bryge,  where  the  said 
conflict  was  done.  Upon  which  discomflture,  as  I  suppose,  and 
that  it  was  feared  among  the  other  rebels  that  I  would  have 
made  a  raid  upon  them  in  short  space.  WyUiam  Lysle  and  Hum- 
fray  his  son,  with  fifteen  other  of  the  rebellious  personages,  as  I 
was  conung  from  mass  on  Sunday  last,  they  met  me  in  their 
shirts  with  halters  about  their  necks,  and  submitted  themselyes 
without  any  manner  of  condition  xmto  Your  most  gracious  mercy, 
they  most  humble  and  lowly  beseeching  Your  most  gracious 
Highness  of  your  tender  and  jnteous  mercy,  or  else  they  were 
zefldy  to  bide  tiie  execution  of  Your  Grace's  most  dreadM  laws, 
according  to  their  demerits.  Which  persons  I  straightwinr  com- 
mitted unto  prisons  within  my  poor  castle  of  Alnewyk  ror  safe 
keeping  of  them  unto  such  time  as  I  may  know  farther  of  your 
most  gracious  pleasure." 

Besides  Humphrey,  there  was  a  younger  son  with  William 
Lisle,  for  whose  pardon  Tuke  in  a  letter  to  Wolsey  pleads, 
because  he  was  not  past  12  or  13  years  old,  and  had  not  as 
it  is  said  offended,  ^^  but  that  he  hath  been  out  with  his 
father,  peradventure  fearing  lest  he  should  lack  bread  at 

The  fate  of  these  outlaws  is  stated  in  another  letter  from 
the  earl  of  Northumberland  on  2nd  April,  1528 ;  all  the 
lands  of  the  late  William  Lisle  were  to  Ue  to  the  king's  use, 
**  and  for  the  terrible  example  of  all  the  inhabitants  in  these 
parts,  William  Lysle,  Humphrey  Lisle  his  son,  John  Ogle 
William  Christowe,  and  Thomas  Fenwick,  gentlemen  ut 
name,  chief  leaders  and  most  heinous  offenders  of  all  the  said 
rebels  were,  according  to  their  demerits,  attainted  of  high 
treason,  and  by  me  had  judgment  given  to  be  hanged,  drawn, 
and  quartered.  The  execution  whereof  was  accomplished 
upon  them  accordingly,  only  reprieving  Humphrey  Lysle 
according  to  the  pleasure  of  his  highness.  The  head  and 
quarters  of  them  that  were  executed  for  high  treason,  I  have 
caused  to  be  set  up  upon  the  donjon  of  the  castle  of  New- 

Digitized  by 



castle^  and  sundry  other  convenient  and  open  places  most 
apparent  to  the  view  and  sight  of  the  people,  to  the  high 
contentment  of  all  the  true  inhabitants  in  these  parts,  and 
extreme  terror  of  all  the  said  rebels."* 

Sir  William  Lisle  merited  his  fate;  for  his  son  Humphrey 
in  a  deposition  sworn,  on  the  6th  June  15^,  disclosed 
twenty-five  different  offences  of  murder,  robbery,  prison- 
breach,  and  arson  committed  by  his  father,  himself,  and 
their  adherents,  sometimes  accompanied  by  Scots,  at  other 
times  by  Englishmen  only. 

Humphrey  Lisle  was  recommended  by  the  earl  of  North- 
umberland to  the  mercy  of  the  king,  because  he  did  manfully 
venture  himself  and  apprehend  the  notorious  offender  Hob 
Elwold.  He  was  pardoned,  but  not  reformed ;  for  in  the 
year  1535,  Sir  Humphrey  Lisle  of  Felton,  Knight,  and 
A^lexander  Shafto,  of  Scremerston,  were  indicted  at  a  Warden 
Court  for  divers  march  treasons;  conscious  of  their  guilt 
they  fled,  and  the  earl  issued  a  proclamation  against  them.f 

Some  forays  both  by  the  Scots  and  the  English  in  1532, 
described  by  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  to  the  king,  give  a 
wild  picture  of  the  period.  To  spite  the  earl,  Launce  Carr, 
with  300  of  the  Scotts  of  Teviotdale,  on  the  10th  October, 
burnt  a  town  of  his  called  Alenam,  with  all  the  corn,  hay, 
and  household  stuff  in  the  town,  and  also  a  woman ;  on  the 
12th  they  burnt  Newstead,  another  of  his  towns,  took  200 
head  of  cattle,  26  prisoners,  and  shamefully  miirdered  two 
young  spryngaldes4  Mark  Carre  promised  to  the  earl  of 
Murray  openly  before  the  king  of  Scotland,  that  within  five 
days  afterwards  he  would  burn  a  town  of  the  earl  of 
Northumberland,  ''within  three  miles,"  says  the  Earl, 
''of  my  poor  house  of  Warkworth,  where  I  lie,  and 
give  me  light  to  put  on  my  clothes  at  midnight. 
Upon  Thursday  at  night  last,  came  thirty  light  horse- 
men into  a  little  village  of  mine  called  Whitell,  having 
not  past  six  houses  in  it,  lying  toward  Byddisdaill,  upon 
Shilbotell  Moor ;  and  there  they  would  have  fired  the  said 
houses,  but  there  was  no  fire  to  get  there,  and  they  forgat 
to  bring  any  with  them ;  and  took  a  wife  being  great  with 
child  in  the  said  town  and  said  to  her,  '  Where  we  cannot 
give  the  Lord  light,  yet  we  shall  do  this  in  spite  of  him,* 
and  gave  her  three  mortal  wounds  upon  the  head  and  another 

•  Cottonian  MSS.  Cal,  B.  III. 

t  SUte  Papers,  Vol.  IV,  p.  477,  599  ;  Vol.  V.  p.  81. 

X  A  stripling— A  yonng  person. 

Digitized  by 



in  the  side  with  a  dagger ;  whereupon  the  said  wife  is  dead^ 
and  the  child  in  her  belly  is  lost."  The  inhabitants  of  the 
district  were  roused^  to  revenge  this  cruel  murder;  the 
beacons  were  lighted  to  warn  the  country  and  the  murderers 
were  pursued  with  hot  trod;  nevertheless  they  escaped. 
The  cruel  wrong  however  was  not  allowed  to  pass  unavenged. 
'*  Upon  Friday  at  night  last,  500  of  the  best  horsemen  of  Glen- 
dale  were  let  slip  along  with  men  from  Berwick  to  join  with 
George  Douglas,  who  came  again  into  England  in  the 
dawning  of  the  day;  and  before  they  returned  they  did 
damage  the  provisions  of  the  Earl  of  Murray  at  Coldingham, 
and  did  burn  the  town  of  Coldingham,  with  all  the  corn 
thereto  belonging  worth  1000  marks  sterling ;  and  did  also 
bum  two  towns  near  called  Branerdergest  and  the  Black 
Hill,  and  took  80  prisoners,  60  horse,  and  200  head  of  cattle.'' 
A  terrible  vengeance  this;  and  yet  the  earl  devised  that 
within  four  nights,  God  toilling !  Kelso  should  be  burnt 
with  all  the  com  in  that  town. 

Lord  Parr  was  warden  of  the  Marches  in  1543,  and  in  his 
letter  to  the  council  with  the  king,  dated  May  24,  he  gives 
information  of  the  state  of  the  town  and  castle  at  that  time. 
He  says — 

"  I  caused  also  the  castles  of  Alnwick  and  Morpeth  to  be 
viewed  and  seen,  of  intent  to  have  made  my  demore*  in  one  of 
the  same,  according  to  the  tenour  of  the  king's  majesty's  instruc- 
tions in  tiliat  behalf.  And  as  for  the  castle  of  Morpeth,  was  so 
far  out  of  reparation,  and  so  tmsweet  and  unwholesomely  kept, 
that  I  could  not  conveniently  have  lodged  therein  without  great 
danger  of  infections  and  infirmities ;  and  the  town  of  Ahiwick 
is  and  hath  been  already  soo  infected,  by  the  space  of  these  two 
months  past  and  more,  with  a  hot  and  dangeroiU9  ague,  whereof 
there  be  many  dead,  and  divers  others  lying  sick  therein  at  this 
present,  that  I  considered  it  to  be  a  great  peril  to  draw  thither 
unto  me  a  great  resort  of  the  country  whereby  both  the  number 
resident  in  my  house,  and  other  of  the  country  repairing  unto 
me  should  be  in  danger  of  the  said  infection.  Wherefore,  as  the 
place  most  wholesome  and  dear  from  all  infections,  I  am  deter- 
mined for  a  time  to  make  mine  abode  at  the  king's  majesty's 
castle  of  Warkworth,  but  four  miles  at  the  most  from  Alnwick, 
the  which  being  something  decayed  and  out  of  reparation,  I  have 
partly  caused  to  be  appardled  and  put  in  readiness,  and  my  pre- 
parations to  be  conveyed  thither,  which  I  doubt  not  shall  be  frilly 
performed,  and  famished  within  these  eight  days.  "Which  done, 
I  intend  to  repair  thither  and  there  to  reside,  and  from  thenoe 

»  Stay. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


to  remove  to  the  oastle  of  Alnirick,  as  the  infeotioiiB  or  infinnities 
there  ahall  ceasOi  and  the  occasions  occaxrexit  shall  require."* 

Sir  Ralph  Eure,  a  distinguished  soldier^  had  possession  of 
Alnwick  and  Warkworth  Castles  for  the  king  in  1545.  In 
the  preceding  year  he  had  made  an  inroad  into  Scotland^  and 
in  the  most  ruthless  manner  plundered  and  burnt  Jedburgh^ 
Kelso,  and  manj  other  places.  The  State  Papers  tell  us^ 
that  in  this  raid  19S  towns^  towers,  stedes,  bamekyns, 
parish-churches,  bastel-houses,  were  siezed  and  destroyed, 
that  400  Scots  were  slain  and  816  taken  prisoners,  and  that 
3386  nolto,  12,492  sheep,  1S96  nags  and  geldings,  200  gayts, 
850  boUs  of  com,  and  a  great  quantity  of  insight  gear  were 
carried  off.  These  devastations  were  committed  chiefly  in 
Teviotdale  and  in  the  Merse  of  Berwickshire.  A  more 
extensive  enterprise  was  made  in  1545,  under  the  command 
of  Sir  Ralph  Eure  and  Sir  Brian  Laiton ;  but  a  small  body 
of  Scots,  under  the  command  of  the  earl  of  Angus,  signally 
defeated  the  English  at  Ancrum  Moor,  slaying  both  of  the 
English  leaders  and  800  men,  and  taking  1000  prisoners. 

The  protector  of  the  realm  the  duke  of  Somerset^  in  his 
route  northward  to  war  against  the  Scots,  '*lay  on  the  night 
of  the  29th  of  August,  1547,  in  Alnwyke  Castle,"  then  held 
by  Sir  Robert  Bowes,  lord  warden  of  the  Middle  Marches ; 
**  good  cheer  welcomed  him  there ;  in  the  provision  whereof 
a  man  might  note  great  cost  and  diligence  and  the  spending 
of  a  liberal  heart.'*  The  English  army  would  pass  through 
Alnwick  two  days  afterwards.  On  the  10th  of  the  following 
month  the  battle  of  Pinkie  was  fought,  when  the  Scots  were 
signally  defeated,  their  loss  being  estimated  &om  ten  to  four- 
teen thousand  men.f  The  hero  of  the  day  was  the  earl  of 
Warwick,  lieutenant-general  of  the  English  forces,  who  dis- 
played great  courage  and  skill.  Not  long  afterwards,  he 
became  connected  with  Alnwick  as  warden  general  of  the 
Marches;  and  on  the  11th  of  Octol>er,  1551,  he  was,  by 
Edward  VI,  created  duke  of  Northumberland,  the  first  who 
bore  that  title;  an  ambitious,  unscrupulous,  and  unprincipled 
man  he  was,  but  yet  able  and  courageous.  His  powers  as 
warden  were  great,  and  he  vigorously  exercised  them  to 
remedy  the  ews  which  afflicted  the  liorders.  He  made  a 
careful  survey  of  the  Marches,  and  personally  presided  over 
the  Warden  Courts  held  at  Alnwick,  Newcastle,  and  Car- 
lisle.   Many  new  and  stringent  regulations  were  introduced 

•  State  Paper,  YoL  Y,  p.  299.       f  Patten^  Expedition,  p.  28. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 



to  redress  disorders^  and  a  complete  system  of  watch  and 
ward  was  adopted  for  the  more  effectual  defence  of  the 
borders.  He  appointed  as  his  deputy  Lord  Wharton,  who 
was  experienced  in  border  affairs,  and  whose  residence  at 
this  period  was  usually  at  Alnwick  Castle. 

In  the  reign  of  Queen  Mary,  Thomas  Percy,  the  seventh 
earl  was  warden-general,  jointly  with  Lord  Wharton.  In  a 
letter  from  Alnwick  Castle,  on  6th  August,  1557,  Sir  Henry 
Percy  describes  a  raid  into  Scotland  to  avenge  a  Scottish 
inroad  by  Lord  James  Murray. 

^'  It  may  please,"  he  says,  "  your  good  lordship  to  understand 
that  upon  my  repair  to  Alnwick,  sundry  gentlemen  of  this 
country,  with  many  honest  men  of  the  same,  repaired  thiiher 
unto  me,  with  whom  I  travelled  till  Wednesday  at  night  last,  in 
such  sort,  as  we  were  suffered  to  take  very  little  rest  either  by 
night  or  day ;  but  by  the  more  part  of  nights  and  days  on  horse- 
back attended  the  invasion  of  the  enemy.  And  for  the  better 
resistance  lihereof^  placed  myself,  and  my  company,  nigh  to  the 
frontiers,  as  at  Eshngtone  and  other  places  uiereabouts ;  and 
yesterday,  being  the  5th  of  this  instant,  about  five  of  the  dock 
in  the  morning,  Lord  James  and  others  of  Scotland,  with  all  the 
poww  they  could  make  in  three  days  assembly  of  men  from 
Edinburgh  hitherward,  and  with  certain  pieces  of  ordnance,  did 
invade  on  the  East  March  of  this  realm ;  minded,  as  I  learned  by 
credible  intelligence,  to  have  attempted  to  win  the  castle  of 
Ford,  and  have  burnt  sundry  towns  mereabouts,  called  the  Ten 
Towns  of  OlendaU ;  which  their  purpose,  upon  my  repab  towards 
them,  with  a  ^ood  number  of  gentlemen,  and  others  of  this 
country,  they  did  quite  alter  and  change.  And  after  they  had 
burnt  a  house  or  two,  in  the  town  of  Fenton,  where  was  taken 
and  wounded  to  death,  as  is  supposed,  one  of  their  best  borderers 
and  ffoides,  Bichard  Davyson,  with  great  haste  and  more  fear 
(as  by  plucking  off  and  leaving  a  great  number  of  white 
crosses,  and  the  smaU  spoil,  or  prey  of  cattle  by  them  seized, 
did  appear)  departed  home  into  Scotland  before  we  could  in  order 
eome  to  them ;  which  considered,  by  the  discreet  advice  of  the 
^^entlemen,  I  did  enterprise  to  invade  the  countiy  of  the  Marched 
in  Scotland,  where  we  burnt  sixteen  towns,  ana  won  a  booty  or 
spoil  of  280  neat  and  1000  sheep,  besides  many  hotses,  and  some 

During  the  remainder  of  the  reign  of  Mary  queen  of  Eng'' 
land,  border  warfare  never  ceased.  The  earl  of  Noi'thiim-' 
berland  was  repeatedly  engaged  in  it ;  but  Sir  Henry  Percy 
his  brother  achieved  great  distinction,  by  his  activity  and 
courage,  rivalling  in  some  degree  the  fame  of  his  ancestor, 
the  renowned  Hotspur. 


Digitized  by 



Robert  Cary^  earl  of  Monmouth  ^  warden  of  the  Middle 
Marches  during  the  latter  days  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  removed 
his  wife,  children,  and  household  to  Alnwick  Abbey — the 
house  in  which  Sir  John  Forster  lived  when  he  was  warden. 
He  kept  in  his  own  stable  forty  good  horse  and  good  men 
able  to  ride  them. 

Alnwick  in  1567  witnessed  many  bloody  executions.  Mr. 
William  Drury  writes  to  Sir  Nicholas  Throgmorton  on  the 
Srd  of  November,  1567 : — ^^  A  secret  journey  by  the  regent 
against  the  thieves  of  Liddesdale,  which  was  put  into  execu- 
tion at  Alnwick  last  market  day ;  he  took  36,  whereof  13 
were  presently  hanged,  9  drowned,  and  14  taken  prisoners, 
but  the  laird  of  Ormiston  and  John  of  the  Park  escaped."* 

A  few  extracts  relating  to  the  district  around  Alnwick 
from  ^'A  Booke  of  the  Losses  of  the  Middle  Marches  of 
England  by  the  Scotts  Theeves,  presented  at  Alnwick  16 
April,  1586,"  still  further  illustrate  the  miserable  condition 
of  the  borders  at  this  period. 

''  The  names  of  those  towns  and  villages  that  have  been  most 
spoiled  in  this  time  of  Peace ;  and  all  or  the  most  part  of  them 
are  within  six  miles  of  Sir  John  Forster's  dwelling  house^  and 
within  his  office: — ^Lowicke,  New  Bewicke,  Estlill^me,  Wener- 
don,  Bosden,  Elderton,  Ingaram,  Brandon,  Benelye,  Fawdon, 
Glanton,  Grange,  Lurchild,  Lamedon,  Awberwick,  Tingle,  Shil- 
bottle,  Shelldikes,  Glantles,  Whyttle,  Buston,  Br^ewioke, 
Ouisons,  Horslye,  Scranwoode,  Noralhurse,  Netherton,  Trughett, 
Warton,  Wrefi^hille,  Alname,  Felton,  Alnwiohe  Park,  CoUedge 
Park,  lUdsdaue  and  Tindaile,  Bothbuiy,  and  all  the  Country 
besides."  "  Goodfl  taken  out  of  the  lordship  of  Bewick  by  the 
Soots.  East  lilbome,  16  horse  and  mares,  42  kyne  and  oxen, 
840  sheep,  twenty  marks  worth  of  household  stuff.  Old  Bewicke, 
18  horse  and  mares,  42  oxen  and  kyne,  800  sheep,  and  twenty 
marks  worth  of  insight.  New  Bewicke,  18  horse  and  mares,  30 
oxen  and  kyne,  260  sheep,  and  insight  worth  twenty  marks. 
Waperden,  23  horse  and  mares,  71  kyne  and  oxen,  340  sheep. 
Eglmgham,  15  kyne  and  oxen,  6  horse  and  mares,  40  sheep, 
insight  woiih  £5.^'  Similar  losses  were  sustained  at  Branton, 
Hedgelye,  and  other  places.  But  not  only  were  the  people 
robbed  and  snoiled  by  the  Scots,  but  also  by  their  own  land- 
lords ;  the  following  is  a  singular  case : — ''In  most  lamentable 
wise  complaining,  John  Neale,  of  Elderton,  hath  dwelt  two  years 
by  past  in  Eldeiton,  upon  lands  there  in  the  government  and 
rule  of  one  Bobert  Bodhame,  of  little  Howghton,  gentleman, 
and  his  rent  and  service  for  his  tenement  paid,  yet  so  it  is,  that 

•  CaL  of  State  Papers,  Vol.  XIV,  No.  92  B. 

Digitized  by 



the  wife  of  the  said  Eodhame  came  with  two  servants  and  eight 
Scotsmen,  presently  come  forth  of  Scotland  for  that  purpose,  and 
then  and  there  has  forceablj  and  violently  cast  your  poor  sup- 
pliant, his  wife  and  children,  and  goods  out  of  door,  and  hath 
imprisoned  two  of  the  children  in  the  Tower,  and  hath  put  in 
and  planted  five  Scotsmen  in  Elderton."  Whether  redress  was 
given  does  not  appear. 

We  close  our  illustrations  of  this  abnormal  condition  of 
the  borders  with  some  statements  from  a  letter  of  Sir  William 
Bowes  to  Sir  R.  Cecil,  dated  January,  1596.  The  distressed 
people  are  represented  as  in  despair  and  the  country  miserable 
from  the  horrible  murders  committed  and  the  incorrigible 
pride  and  disobedience  of  the  ravenous  malefactors ;  touch- 
ing murders^  he  cannot  yet  come  to  the  certain  number — ^but 
they  be  great — the  manner  horrible,  killing  men  in  their 
beds ;  he  takes  it  Bucklughe  will  be  found  guilty  of  murders 
above  twenty,  Sir  Robert  Carre  about  sixteen  ;  the  Bournes 
and  Younges,  followers  of  Carre,  in  revenge  of  their  feud  for 
one  of  their  name  chanceably  slain  by  Sir  Cuthbert  CoUing- 
wood's  man  rescuing  from  him  a  poor  man's  goods,  have 
since  murdered  thirty-five  Collingwoods.*  The  value  of  the 
spoils  committed  in  the  marches  by  the  Scots  since  1587 
amounted  to  £92,989  16s.  Id.f  And  yet  these  enormities 
occurred  in  the  days  of  the  "  Good  Queen  Bess ;"  wonder 
it  is,  that,  amid  such  fiery  eruptions  and  destructive  lava 
streams,  there  should  have  been  anv  population  or  cultivation 
of  soil,  or  other  industrial  pursuit  in  the  border  land. 

The  Warden  Courts  were  abolished,  by  act  of  parliament, 
after  the  two  nations  were  under  one  king,  in  the  5th  year 
of  the  reign  of  James  I. ;  and  criminals  on  both  sides  of  the 
borders  were  afterwards  to  be  dealt  with  by  the  counties  in 
which  they  resided.  This  act  was  strongly  opposed  by  the 
people  of  Northumberland  and  Cumberland.  Great,  indeed, 
was  the  benefit  resulting  from  the  cessation  of  border  war- 
fare ;  before  the  accession  of  James  I.,  the  estates  of  Lord 
Grey,  of  Wark,  produced  only  £1000  yearly;  but  not  long 
after  that  event,  their  annual  value  increased  to  £7000. 

«  From  Lamidown  MSS. 
t  BaiDe'B  North  DorLam,  p.  xxxti,  zUi 

Digitized  by 



FEOM  1360  TO  1600. 


Some  little  time  before  the  death  of  the  sixth  Earl  Percy, 
Henry  the  YIII.  had  severed  the  connection  of  England 
with  the  pope  of  Rome.  This  formed  an  era  in  the  history 
of  the  nation  even  greater  than  those  arising  from  changes 
of  dynasty  or  constitution.  Our  last  chapter  on  border  law 
and  its  results  presented  pictures  of  the  state  of  the  district ; 
but  before  entering  on  the  history  of  the  seventh  earl,  we 
may  gather  up  other  fragments,  more  particularly  illustrative 
ot  the  condition  of  the  town,  the  castle,  and  the  barony  from 
1S60  to  1600. 

Prior  to  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth  century,  Alnwick  waa 
an  unwalled  town,  open  to  the  attacks  of  enemies,  from 
which  it  often  suffered.  However  sufficient  the  strong 
defences  of  the  castle  may  have  been  for  the  protection  of 
those  sheltered  within  its  walls,  they  could  not  adequately 
protect  the  town  itself,  which  bad  been  ransacked  and  burnt 
in  1420  and  at  other  times  by  the  Scots.  An  open  town, 
however,  could  not  be  fortified  without  royal  authority;  but, 
on  account  of  the  danger  to  which  Alnwick  was  exposed 
from  the  Scots,  Henry  VI.,  in  1433,  granted  a  license  to 
enclose,  wall,  and  embattle  it ;  the  following  is  a  translation 
of  this  license : — 

Digitized  by 



''For  enoloiring,  walling,  and  embailiing  tlie  town  of  Alnswyk. 
Tho  kkig  to  all  to  vrhom  ftc.,  greeting,  know  ye  that  we^  in  oonaiderationy 
tliat  the  town  of  Alnewvk,  in  the  oonnty  of  Northnmberlancl,  ixpoa  the 
majTchee  and  frontiers  of  »x>tland,  lies  open  and  so  dangerously,  tiiat  &  g^Mt 
pait  of  the  same  town  has  been  very  lately  burnt  by  our  enemies  the  Soots, 
naye,  by  the  adTioe  and  consent  of  our  council,  granted  license  to  our  right 
dear  oousin,  Henry,  earl  of  Northumberland,  lord  of  the  said  town  and  of  the 
castle  there,  and  to  the  Burgesses  of  the  same  town,  their  heirs  and  snccessorSy 
that  the  aforesaid  may  be  authorised  lawfully  to  enclose  the  said  town  of 
Alnewyk  and  wall  around  the  whole  of  the  aforesaid  town,  and  embattle  and 
macfaiolate  the  walls  of  the  same  town,  and  also  make  and  order  any  other 
de&nces  whatsoever  around  or  upon  those  walls,  free  from  any  hixidrance 
whatsoever  towards  tbe  said  earl  or  burgesses,  tbeir  heirs  or  executors,  by  us 
our  heirs  or  any  of  our  ministers  or  officers,  being  made  for  the  future.  In 
testimony  whereof  witness  the  king  at  Westminster  on  the  first  of  June. 

By  writ  of  Privy  Seal." 

Patent  Bdls,  Hen.  YI.,  p.  1  n  6. 

It  has  been  commonly  represented  that^  soon  afterwards^ 
the  earl  of  Northumberland  erected  the  walls  of  the  town ; 
this,  however,  is  a  myth,  for  little  indeed  he  seems  to  have 
contributed  to  a  work  so  important  to  the  safety  of  the 
inhabitants,  when  border  warfare  was  raging.  The  burden 
fell  mainly  on  the  burgesses  and  commonalty,  who  were 
poor  enough  in  tbese  evil  times;  hence  for  want  of  means  the 
fortifying  of  the  town  made  slow  progress,  and  half  a  century 
elapsed  before  it  was  completed.  Still  unwalled  was  the 
town  in  1448,  when  it  was  again  burnt  by  the  Scots.  Three 
documents,  preserved  in  the  corporation  archives,  throw  light 
on  the  means  used  to  accomplish  the  work. 

One  is  a  petition  to  the  king  from  the   burgesses  and 
commonalty,  stating  that  the  walling  of  the  town  has  been 
begun,  but  for  want  of  funds  could  not  be  finished,  and 
»raying  that  a  license  might  be  granted  without  a  fee.     The 
ibllowing  is  a  copy  of  this  petition : — 

"  To  the  Icing  our  Sovereign  Lord, 
Humble  beseecheth  your  highnesse,  your  humble  and  trew  liM^emen,  the 
Burges  and  comynalte  of  the  Towne  of  Alnewik  in  the  Counte  ofNorthum- 
breland ;  foraamuche  as  the  said  towne  is  adjoynant  to  the  marches  of  Scot- 
land, and  no  towne  is  betwene  the  said  marches  and  the  New  Castell  upon 
Tyne,  by  the  wiche  your  liege  people,  inhabitants  in  thocs  partyes,  may  be 
releved  or  sooowred  in  tyme  of  dist^sse  made  by  the  Scotts,  and  likely  daily 
to  be  made  herafter,  for  their  resistance  ia  that  behalf  not  onely  to  their  grete 
hurts  and  losses,  but  also  to  the  grete  prejudise  of  this  your  Bcaume ;  for 
i^uoh  causes  it  hath  late  pleased  your  saide  highnesse  to  license  the  said 
towne  to  be  dosed,  walled  and  embattled ;  the  wiche  werke  by  force  thereof 
your  said  liegemen  have  late  begun,  and  the  which  without  grete  and  notable 
somes  of  money  cannot  be  fimsshed ;  And  impossable  for  them  to  bare  with- 
outen  your  goode  graic  be  shewed  unto  them  in  that  behalve,  please  it  therfore 
the  same  your  hygnesse,  of  your  moste  bounteous  graic  in  tender  consideration 
of  the  premisses,  to  grante  to  theym,  by  way  of  your  moste  plenteful  almee, 
your  said  Ucense  under  your  grete  seal,  m  due  fourme  to  be  mayd  and 
delivBrod  to  theym,  withouten  any  fee  or  fees  therfore  in  eny  wise  to  be 


Digitized  by 



yonen  or  yolden,  and  that  this  bille,  signed  with  your  moste  gracienx  hande, 
may  he  asewel  sufficient  warant  unto  your  chancellor  of  luigland  for  the 
making  up  and  ensealing  of  the  said  license,  as  unto  the  clerc  of  your 
hanapier  for  the  delivering  unto  theym  of  the  same ;  and  they  all  shall  ever 
pray  for  the  prosperous  confirmation  of  your  moste  noble  and  royal  estate." 

To  this  petition  there  is  no  date,  and  even  the  name  of  the 
king  to  whom  it  was  presented  is  not  mentioned.  From 
another  document,  it  appears  that  Edward  IV.  as  well  as 
Henry  VI.  granted  a  license  to  wall  the  town ;  and,  there- 
fore, the  petition  may  have  been  presented  to  either  of  these 
sovereigns ;  the  date  would  be  between  the  years  1440  and 
and  1470. 

The  second  corporate  muniment,  entitled  "  Letters  Patent 
from  Henry  VI. ;"  besides  referring  to  the  walling  of  the 
town,  contains  other  information,  even  of  more  interest, 
respecting  the  state  of  the  town.  This  charter  was  granted 
at  Bamburgh,  on  the  9th  of  April,  in  the  forty-second  year 
of  his  reign,  and  attached  to  it  is  his  great  seal.  At  this 
time,  Henry  VI.  had  been  brought  into  Northumberland  to 
join  his  adherents,  who  were  again  endeavouring  to  restore 
him  to  power ;  but  the  battles  of  Hedgeley  Moor  and  Hex- 
ham, fought  on  the  25th  of  April  and  15th  of  May,  1452, 
blighted  and  withered  the  red  rose  of  England.  This  charter 
sets  forth,  that  the  burgesses  of  Alnwick  had  shewn  to  the 
king,  that  they  had  within  the  preceding  three  years  been 
robbed  and  spoiled  by  rebels,  and  their  goods,  houses,  and 
mansions  burnt  and  destroyed ;  he  grants  to  them  a  free 
port  at  Alnmouth,  and  the  privilege  of  shipping  and  sending 
away  wool,  wool-fels,  hides,  fish,  and  coals  to  other  ports, 
both  in  and  beyond  the  kingdom ;  and  he  further  grants  to 
them,  for  thirty  years,  £20  out  of  the  customs  and  subsidies, 
payable  on  account  of  the  wool,  wool-fels,  hides,  coals,  and 
fish,  in  relief  of  the  depredation  which  the  burgesses  had 
suffered ;  and  also  to  make  the  port  of  Alnmouth  and  toaU 
the  toum  of  Alnwick  and  repair  the  parish  church  there ; 
he  grants  further,  that  officers  of  the  customs,  controllers, 
searchers,  and  weighers  of  wool  shall  be  continually  in  the 
town  and  port ;  and  that  two  fairs  shall  be  held  yearly  in 
Alnwick,  one  at  the  feast  of  the  Saints  Philip  and  James, 
for  eight  days,  and  the  other  at  the  feast  of  Saint  Lucy,  for 
eight  days,  and  a  weekly  market  on  Wednesday,  and  freedom 
from  all  tolls  or  other  charges. 

The  following  is  a  translation  of  this  charter : — 

''  Henry,'  by  the  grace  of  God,  King  of  England  and  France  and  Lord  of 
Ireland,  To  all  to  whom  the  present  letters  shall  come,  greeting,  Enow  ye, 

Digitized  by 



that  wlieieas  our  humble  and  &ithful  lieges,  the  BurgeflseB  of  Alnewyk  have 
represented  to  ns,  how  they,  within  the  laist  three  Tears  past,  have  by  our 
rebels,  at  different  times,  been  robbed  and  spoiled  of  all  their  moveable  goods, 
and  their  houses  and  mansions  have  been  burnt,  broken  down  and  wasted,  to 
their  final  destruction,  unless  we  give  them  relief  in  this  behalf.  Wherefore 
they  have  besought  us,  that  we  would  vouchsafe  to  grant  to  them  the  privi- 
leffes,  Hoenses  and  franchises  underwritten  for  their  relief.  ^ 

We,  considering  the  premises  and  their  petition  aforesaid,  and  on'^this 
behalf  &Yourably  inclined,  have,  of  our  special  grace,  granted  to  the  aforesaid 
Burg^esses  and  their  successors  to  make  and  establish  for  ever  a  free  port,  in 
such  place  or  places  in  Alnemouthe  in  the  county  of  Northumberland,  as  to 
them  and  to  every  of  them  may  be  most  expedient  and  available ;  and  that 
the  said  port  may  be  to  them  and  to  every  of  them,  as  free  in  all  conditions 
rules  and  government,  as  any  other  iport  within  our  realm  of  England.  And 
further,  the  said  burgesses  and  their  successors  may  have,  by  the  tenor  of 
these  presents,  Hcense  at  all  convenient  and  suitable  times,  to  ship,  load  and 
unload,  in  Ihe  said  port  of  Alnemouthe,  wools,  skins,  wool-fels  and  hides 
accruing  between  the  Blithe  and  the  Twede,  and  coals  and  fish.  And  the 
said  Burgesses  or  any  of  them,  or  their  successors,  their  agents,  or^  attorneys, 
the  said  wools,  skins,  wool-fels,  hides,  coals,  and  fish  so  uippeid  and  loaded, 
may  carry  beyond  the  said  port  of  Alnemouthe  to  such  port  or  ports  in  district 
or  districts,  country  or  foreign  countries,  or  any  other  land  or  country  beyond 
our  kingdom,  and  out  as  weU  beyond  our  jurisdiction  as  within  it ;  and  with 
the  said  wooIIb,  skins,  wool-fels,  hides,  coals,  and  fish,  they  may  pass,  without 
any  restriction,  arr^  trouble,  or  impediment  from  us  any  of  our  officers 
whomsoever,  provided  always,  that  the  said  Burgesses  and  their  successors, 
agents  or  atbomeys  may  not  carry  any  merchandise  beyond  the  said  port 
to  any  of  our  rebels  or  enemies,  without  our  Hcense^  under  penalty  of  forfeiture 
of  the  same. 

And  besides,  of  our  special  grace,  we  have  granted  to  the  said  Burgesses 
and  their  successors,  for  the  term  of  thirty  vears  next  following,  to  pay  onlv 
for  the  custom  and  subsidies  of  one  sack  of  wool,  shipped  in  the  said  port, 
thirteen  shilling  and  fourpence  sterling,  and  of  one  hundred  skins  of  wool-fels 
shipped  there  six  shillings  and  eightpence  sterling,  and  of  one  last*  of  hides 
of  the  said  growth  shipped  there  six  shillings  ana  eightpence  sterling :  And 
that  the  said  Burgesses  and  their  successors  may  have  power  by  the  tenor  of 
these  presents  to  ship  and  load,  within  the  said  port  annually,  as  many  wools, 
sldns,  wool-fels,  hides,  coals,  and  fish,  whereof  the  customs  and  subsidies  thence 
due  may  reach  the  sum  of  twenty  pounds,  without  paying  anything  in  respect 
thereof  to  us  or  our  heirs,  during  the  said  term  of  thirty  years,  in  relief  of  Uie 
depredations  suffered  by  the  said  Burgesses,  and  to  the  town  of  Alnewick 
above  specified,  and  towards  the  expenses  of  making  the  said  port,  and  of  the 
walling  of  the  same  town,  and  towards  the  making  and  repair  of  the  parish 
church  in  the  same  place. 

And  further,  of  our  special  grace,  we  have  granted  to  the  said  Burgesses, 
that  they  and  their  successors  may  have  within  the  said  town  of  Alnewick 
customers,  comptrollers,  searchers,  and  weighers  for  our  use,  and  for  the  use 
of  the  said  port,  there  dwelling  continually  in  manner  and  form,  as  the  town 
and  Burgesses  of  Berwick  lately  had  by  our  grant. 

And  further,  of  our  special  grace,  we  have  granted  to  the  aforesaid  Burgesses 
and  their  successors  for  ever  to  hold  and  keep  two  fairs  annually  in  the  said 
town  of  Alnewick,  at  two  different  times  of  the  year,  to  wit,  the  first  of  the 
said  two  fairs  to  begin  on  the  feast  of  the  Saints  Philip  and  James,  and  so  to 
last  and  continue  for  eight  davs  then  next  following ;  and  the  other  of  the 
said  two  furs  to  bejgin  on  the  feast  of  Saint  Lucy  thence  next  following,  and 
BO  to  last  and  continue  for  eight  days  thence  next  following ;  so  that  these 
fiurs  be  not  to  the  injury  of  the  neighbouring  fairs ;  And  that  our  Uoges  of 

*  A  last  consists  of  ten  dosen. 

Digitized  by 



every  kind,  of  irbateoever  condition  or  oonditioiis  tiiey  maybe  or  eny  of  tliam 
may  be,  may  freely  oome  to  both  of  the  aforesaid  fidrs,  ana  abide  there  dnxin^ 
the  term  above  specified  for  both  of  the  aforesaid  ism ;  And  that  our  siad 
lieges  and  every  one  of  them  may  have  a  free  retam  and  passage  to  snoh  place 
or  plaMS,  ooimtry  or  countries,  as  they  intend  and  propose  going  or  nding 
to,  without  any  arrest,  imprisonment,  or  disturbance,  unpediment  or  vexa- 
tion bcnng  made  towards  or  npon  them  or  any  of  them  by  mayors,  aheriifli^ 
escheators,  constables,  bailifb  or  any  of  them  or  any  other  officer,  or  officers 
for  dealing  with  all  manner  of  actions  or  demands  of  whatsoever  nature  or 
conditions  they  may  be ;  Bioters  or  disturbers  of  the  said  two  fiurs,  or  any 
person  or  persons  coming  to  these  fEuzs  and  dwelling  there,  and  returning  hem. 
both  of  them  excepted. 

And-  besides,  of  our  special  grace,  we  have  panted  to  the  aforesaid  Burgesses 
and  their  successors  for  ever  a  free  market,  m  the  said  town  of  Alnewrk  on 
Wednesday  weekly,  to  hold  and  to  keep,  for  ever^  description  of  our  lieges, 
to  have  ana  to  carry  there  every  kind  of  merohandue  and  victuals,  according 
to  the  manner  and  custom  of  any  of  the  best  and  freest  maiket  within  the 
county  of  Northumberland,  to  be  used  or  begun  so,  that  this  market  be  not 
to  the  hurt  of  the  neighbouring  markets. 

And  fro^er,  of  our  abundant  grace,  we  grant  to  the  aforesaid  Burgeasee 
and  their  sUocessors  and  to  every  ot  them  for  ever,  that  they  be  quit  and  free 
from  the  payment  of  all  kinds  of  tolls,  or  of  other  customs,  used  in  any 
market,  frir,  passage,  or  an^  other  place  within  our  realm  of  England,  as  well 
within  liberties  and  frandnses  as  beyond.  In  testimony  whereof,  we  have 
oansed  these  our  letters  to  be  made  patent,  witness  myself  at  our  castle  of 
Bambuxirh,  the  ninth  day  of  April  in  the  4^id  year  of  our  reign. 

by  the  King  himself  and  the  afooresaid  date  by  auAhoiity  of  Parliament." 

William  de  Alnwick,  bishop  of  Norwich,  who  seems  to 
haye  looked  with  kindness  on  his  native  town,  gaye  help  to 
the  burgesses  at  this  critical  period ;  for  in  his  will,  which 
was  proved  at  Lambeth  in  1449,  he  left  ten  pounds  for  the 
walling  of  the  town,  and  ten  pounds  for  the  building  (or 
restoration)  of  the  church.  Still,  however,  as  appears  from 
the  third  corporate  document,  the  walling  of  the  town  was 
not  completed  even  in  1473.  '^  Letters  Patent  to  gather  a 
collection  for  building  the  town  wall  against  the  Scots," 
dated  February,  1478,  were  addressed  by  the  burgesses 
and  commonalty  of  the  town  of  Alnwick  to  all  the  sonn 
of  the  Holy  Mother  Church ;  they  state  that  Edward  IV. 
had  granted  a  license  to  embattle  the  town,  that  the 
work  had  been  begun,  but  could  not  be  completed  without 
aid  from  others,  and  that  John  Faterson  and  Thomas  Cirswell 
had  been  by  them  appointed  to  collect  alms  and  assistance 
for  the  work.  The  following  is  a  translation  of  this  docu- 

«To  an  the  sons  of  onr  holy  mother  Chnch  to  whom  and  to  whose  know- 
ledge the  present  letters  shall  come.  The  Burgesses  and  commonalty  of  the 
town  of  Alnewyk,  in  the^  connty  of  Northmnberland,  Greeting,  in  Hiim  by 
whom  kings  reign  and  princes  role ;  Whereas  Uie  proTinoe  of  Northmnber- 
land, by  the  loss  of  the  town  of  Benrick-on-Tweed  and  of  the  Castle  of 

Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 


:l^W-..,.  -L^i-.,J 

^■W-  -'-iNs^rtr-., 

'  Digitized  by  VjOOQ IC 


Bokeeborgh,  is  greatly  impoverished  and  weakened;  and  no  walled  town  or 
BoTOugli  from  the  town  of  Newcastle  upon  Tyne  to  Scotland,  for  the  safe 
custody  and  defence  of  the  said  proTince,  now  remains  or  exists ;  The  most 
excellent  and  Clmstian  prince  Edward  the  fourth  b^  the  grace  of  God  King 
of  England  and  France  and  Lord  of  Ireland,  in  consideration  of  the  premiBee, 
for  the  advantage  of  his  realm  of  England,  and  the  i)reservation  oi  the  pro- 
vince aforesaid,  and  for  safe  guard  and  defence  of  its  inhabitants  of  the  same 
hath  given  and  granted  license  to  wall,  fortify,  and  embattle  the  said  town  of 
Alnewy k ;  whi(£.  work  indeed  is  now  begun,  but  cannot  be  completed  without 
great  and  notable  sums,  which  we  the  aforesaid  Burgesses  and  Commonalty 
are  not  able  to  bear  nor  are  worth,  unless  we  are  helped  in  this  matter  by  l^e 
luthAil  of  Christ  and  the  devoted  to  God  of  their  chari^  to  us :  Know  there- 
fore, that  we  the  aforesaid  Burgesses  and  Commonalty,  by  a  unanimous  assent 
and  consent  have  ordained,  constituted,  and  in  our  place  put,  our  beloved  in 
Christ,  John  Paterson  and  Thomas  CirseweU,  our  true  and  lawful  procten 
and  special  messengers,  jointly  and  severaJly,  to  collect  and  receive  the  alms, 
snbsi^es,  and  other  charitable  gifts  of  the  faithful  of  Christ,  through  tfa^ 
whole  realm  of  England,  for  the  public  good  of  the  same,  and  for  the  preser- 
vation of  the  said  province  by  the  same  work,  given  or  to  be  given,  bequeathed 
or  to  be  bequeathed,  assigned  or  to  be  assigned,  in  places  exempted  and  not 
exempted,  and  to  do  all  other  things  in  this  afiair  as  we  ourselves  might  have 
done  had  we  personally  been  present.  Holding  ratified  confirmed  and  allowed 
all  and  everything  the  aforesaid  John  Paterson  and  Thomas  shall  in  our  name 
do,  or  either  of  t^em  shall  do,  in  the  premises.  In  testimony  whereof,  the 
Common  Seal  of  the  aforesaid  town  of  Alnewyk  is  put  to  these  presents. 
Given  the  first  day  of  the  month  of  Febniarv  in  the  thirteenth  year  of  the 
reign  of  the  aforesaid  Lord  King  Edward  the  fourth,  after  the  Conquest  of 

No  reference,  it  will  be  observed,  is  made  in  any  of  the 
documents  to  help  received  from  the  earls  of  Northumberland. 
Soon  after  this,  however,  the  town  was  surrounded  by  a  wall; 
and  the  four  entrances  were  defended  by  strong  towers ;  one 
was  on  the  south  at  Bondgate,  another  on  the  south-west  at 
Clayport,  another  on  the  west  at  Potterffate,  and  the  fourth 
on  the  north  at  Narrowgate.  One  only  of  these  ancient 
towers  remains,  that  of  Bondgate,  which  has  erroneously 
been  called  Hotspur's  Tower ;  for  while  no  part  of  the  walls 
or  towers  could  have  been  erected  before  1488,  Hotspur  was 
slain  in  the  year  1403. 

This  well-built  tower  is  still  in  a  pretty  eood  state  of  preser- 
vation. It  has  three  stories,  with  an  arched  gateway,  above 
which,  on  the  outside,  was  the  Brabant  lion  sculptured  in 
relief  on  a  recessed  panel,  but  now  so  worn  and  defaced  by 
time,  as  to  be  scarcely  traceable.  Semi-octagonal  towers 
project  on  each  side  of  the  gateway,  to  give  it  additional 
protection ;  and  on  the  top  of  the  tower  are  three  corbels  to 
support  wooden  erections,  from  which  to  annoy  besieging 
enemies.  All  the  windows  in  the  outside  wall  looking  south- 
ward are  long  narrow  openings ;  but  the  upper  windows  in 
the  Borth  wall,  looking  into  the  town,  are  larger  and  divided 
by  muUions.     Erected  not  earlier  than  1450,  it  is  possible 


Digitized  by 



that  this  tower  may  be  the  work  of  the  second  Earl  Percy, 
because  impressed  with  one  of  his  badges.  In  1557  it  is 
described  ^'  of  thre  houshe  height  besyd  the  batilment  and 
fftire  turrett ;  yt  ys  covered  with  leade  which  ys  in  greate 
decaye  as  also  the  roof  of  woode ;"  it  was  then  in  charge  of 
the  bailiff  of  the  borough^  who,  under  colour  of  keeping  it 
for  prisoners,  used  it  as  a  granary  for  com.  Some  forty  years 
ago,  there  were  portions  of  the  walls 'on  both  sides  of  the 
tower,  through  which  were  narrow  portals  for  foot  passengers. 
It  seems  to  have  been  in  the  possession  of  the  corporation  in 
the  seventeenth  and  part  of  the  eighteenth  century;  they 
occasionally  repaired  it ;  and  as  a  prison  it  was  sometimes 
used ;  but  it  now  belongs  to  the  duke  of  Northumberland.* 

Utilitarians  complain  that  this  ancient  gatewav  is  a  nuis- 
ance, and  would  have  it  taken  down,  because  it  is  not  large 
enough  to  allow  a  free  passage  to  large  vehicles,  such  as 
caravans;  this.  However,  is  but  a  trifling  inconvenience, 
which  might  be  remedied  at  no  great  cost,  by  widening  for 
a  short  distance,  the  road  leading  firom  Bondgate  to  Clayport. 
Earnestly  do  we  hope  that  this  brave  old  tower  may  be  care- 
fully preserved ;  it  is  the  last  important  relic  of  the  ancient 
fortifications  of  the  town ;  and  though  grim  and  weather- 
worn, it  is  nevertheless  a  picturesque  object,  stirring  up 
ancient  memories  of  brave  men  and  heroic  deeds,  which 
throw  a  glory  around  the  town,  and  possessing  an  interest, 
not  only  to  the  inhabitants  but  to  strangers  who  come  from  a 
distance.  "Look  at  the  tint  upon  the  tower'*  says  Mr.  F.  R, 
Wilson  in  his  Poetry  of  English  Masonry y  "as  deep  sombre 
threatening  as  that  of  a  thunder  cloud.  Then  look  at  the 
stones.  Hu^e  blocks  they  are,  with  the  jointings  deeply 
recessed,  leaving  the  edges  standing  out  in  rough  lines  of 
li^hxr— Plate  VII. 

Clayport  Tower,  which  defended  the  western  entrance  of  the 
town,  was  larger  than  that  of  Bondgate,  but  similar  in  form, 
style,  and  masonry.  It  belonged  to  the  corporation ;  indeed, 
it  is  reasonable  to  suppose,  that  most  part,  if  not  all,  of  the 
towers  and  walls  belonged  to  the  town,  since  they  had  been 

*  On  Angatt  the  2iid,  1728,  there  were  paid  Is.  for  a  warrant  against  Gilbert 
Carr,  Ss.  6d.  for  the  constable  to  carry  him  to  goal,  and  Is.  for  a  lock  to  Bondgate 
Tower ;  next  year,  lOd.  is  paid  for  another  lock  ;  in  1740,  2s.  4d.  for  a  stock 
lock ;  in  1752,  some  of  Bland's  dragoons  were  kept  prisoners  in  Bondgate  Tower^ 
and  payments  are  made  for  straw  and  a  strong  hang-lock ;  and  in  1755,  straw 
was  again  supplied  to  six  deserters  who  were  confined  there.  —  Cbf^poro^iofi 

Digitized  by 



chiefly  erected  under  the  direction  of  the  burgesses  and  by 
funds  collected  by  them.  On  the  13th  of  January^  16S3,  it 
was  "  ordered  and  agreed  upon  by  the  Chamberlaynes  the 
xxiiij  and  the  Comon  Guild  that  every  freeman  of  the  Towne 
shall  pay  iiij^  a  yeare  towards  the  repayreing  of  Pottergate 
towre  and  Claporte  towre."  There  were  several  chambers 
in  this  tower^  in  which  the  companies  or  incorporated  trades 
held  their  meetings.  In  1709,  ^4t  was  agreed  by  the  Cham- 
berlains and  four  and  Twenty  that  the  Taylors  is  to  have  the 
new  chamber  in  Clayport  Tower,  they  haviog  paid  40s.  for 
making  of  itt,  and  that  there  shall  be  Liberty  for  any  other 
Trade  to  goe  in  and  through  the  same  room  to  any  other 
room  that  shall  happen  to  be  built  or  made."  After  the 
erection  of  the  Tolbooth  in  the  market,  this  tower  ceased  to 
be  used  as  a  place  of  meeting.  Subsequently  the  lower  part 
was  a  work  or  poor  house  ;  but  falling  into  a  state  of  decay, 
the  paupers  were  removed  from  it  in  1786.  The  upper 
rooms  were  occupied  by  weavers.  There  was  a  narrow  outlet 
through  the  wall  on  the  south  side ;  but  the  portal  on  the 
north  was  so  wide  as  to  admit  the  passage  of  a  cart,  which, 
however,  was  prevented  by  a  turn-stile.  On  the  south  side 
of  the  gateway  was  an  arched  recess  over  the  Tower  Well. 
To  improve  the  western  entrance  of  the  town,  this  tower  was 
entirely  removed  in  1804,  and  the  old  materials,  which  were 
sold  for  £43,  were  applied  to  the  building  of  the  Union 
Court  in  Clayport  Street.  The  site  of  the  tower  is  indicated 
by  four  squared  stones  marked  with  the  letter  T. 

Close  to  the  tower  on  the  north  side,  stood  "  The  Little 
House,"  or  "  House  on  the  Wall,"  as  it  was  called,  which 
belonged  to  the  corporation,  and  was  let  in  1736  for  2s.  6d. 
yearly;  this  too  was  removed  in  1794 — a  poor  place — ^the 
materials  of  which  sold  for  only  £3  9s.  6d.  Some  quaint 
old  houses  covered  with  thatch  adjoined  it — so  old  looking, 
that  they  may  have  been  co-eval  with  the  tower ;  and  when 
in  1819  they  were  taken  down,  the  site  of  the  House  on  the 
Wall  was  let  for  ninety-nine  years  at  a  yearly  rent  of  twenty- 
one  shillings  to  the  owner  of  these  old  houses ;  and  the  space 
was  included  in  the  new  houses  which  were  then  built. 

Pottergate  Tower,  which  defended  the  north-west  entrance, 
was  purchased  by  the  corporation  in  1630 ;  and  a  new  tower 
built  on  its  site.  The  fourth  tower  was  at  the  north  end  of 
Narrowgate;  and  on  its  site  stands  the  last  house  of  that 
street,  projecting  beyond  the  line  of  the  next  house,  which 
is  the  first  in  Bailiffgate. 

Digitized  by 



The  walls  of  the  town  were  20|  feet  in  height  and  6  feet 
in  thickness.    I  shall  endeavour  to  trace  them.    From  Bond' 
gate  Tower  they  ran  in  a  southerly  direction  nearly  in  a  line 
with  the  modem  Hotspur  Street^  and  thence  westwards  along 
Greenbat,  bending  at  Monkhouae  Square  to  Clayport  Tower, 
and  thence  northward  following  the  line  of  Infirmary  Street 
to  Pottergate  Tower,  and  thence  down  the  hill  along  the 
south  side  of  the  modem  Northumberland  Street,  a  distance 
of  about  ninety  yards ;  here,  in  the  under  part  of  a  garden 
wall,  portions  of  the  old  town  wall  are  standing,  forty  yards  in 
length  and  in  some  parts  five  feet  in  height ;  a  comer  tower 
seems  to  have  stood  here,  the  remains  of  which  project  a 
little  beyond  the  line  of  the  wall,  the  masonry  being  similar  in 
character  to  that  of  Bondgate  Tower.     At  this  point,  the 
wall  made  an  abmpt  change  in  its  direction,  and  ran  south- 
ward to  Narrowgate  Tower.     This  is  corroborated  by  the  old 
deeds  of  the  brick  house,  the  second  in  Narrowgate  Street, 
formerly  in  possession  of  the   Forsters;  for  in  1612  and 
1616  it  was  boundered  on  the  north  by  a  vennell,  (that  is 
a  narrow  or  straight  way,)  called  the  Kirk-way ;  so  that  at 
this  time  there  had  been  a  road  leading  towards  the  church, 
either  by  the  side  of  the  wall  or  over  its  ruins.     In  1628, 
this  lane,  "  commonly  called "  it  is  stated,  '*  the   Church 
Lane,"  was  sold  for  twenty  shillings ;  and  both  the  lord  of 
the  manor  and  the  corporation  had  claims  over  it;  for  a 
reserved  rent  of  fourpence  yearly  was  payable  to  each.     The 
wall  continued  from  Narrowgate  Tower  m  an  easterly  direc- 
tion, at  a  little  distance  from  the  castle,  towards  the  Bow-burn 
—the  Castle  Moat.     It  is  doubtful  whether  any  wall  ran  on 
that  side  of  the  town  boundered  by  this  bum ;  probably,  the 
castle  and  the  moat  formed  there  a  sufficient  defence ;  but 
the  wall  on  the  south-east  side  would  connect  the  moat  with 
Bondgate  Tower.     One  burgage  is  said  to  be  boundered  by 
the  Castle  Close;  and  another  by  the  Castle  Moat.     The 
circumference  of  the  walled  town  was  about  one  mile. 

After  the  cessation  of  border  warfare,  on  the  accession  of 
James  of  Scotland  to  the  English  throne,  these  fortifications 
were  no  longer  necessary ;  and  hence  they  were  neglected 
and  fell  into  ruin ;  the  wall  would  be  a  quarry  where  the 
burgesses  would  find  stones  for  the  erection  and  repair  of 
their  houses.  Still  a  considerable  part  of  these  fortifications 
appears  to  have  been  in  existence  in  1681,  when  Thoresby 
in  his  wanderings  says — '^  to  Morpeth  and  after  a  short  stay 
there,  over  the  moors  to  Alnwick,  an  ancient  fortified  town, 
with  a  curious  castle  and  an  old  walV^ 

Digitized  by 



Since  Alnwick  was  surrounded  with  a  wall,  it  has  not 
glreatly  increased  in  size.  It  had  then  all  the  principal 
streets ;  there  were  the  Market  Place ;  Bondgate,  where  the 
early  holders  of  bond  tenures  dwelt;  Narrowgate,  the  Narrow 
Street;  Pottergate,  which  bore  the  name  of  Barresdale; 
Fenkle,  the  Comer  Street ;  Paikes  Street  or  Hole,  leading 
from  the  Market  to  Bondgate ;  Walkergate,  though  without 
the  walls  formed  part  of  the  borough,  for  here  dwelt  the 
members  of  the  incbrporated  company  of  Walkers  or  Fullers 
near  to  the  river.  Bailiffgate,  or  properly  Baileygate,  now 
occupied  the  site  of  the  bailey  outside  of  the  castle,  but 
its  northern  side  was  not  considered  within  the  borough ; 
Canongate,  or  Canonsgate  its  ancient  name,  though  adjoining 
Alnwick,  had,  under  the  fostering  care  of  the  abbey,  sprung 
up  as  a  distinct  township  and  manor  with  a  court  of  its  own. 
Houses  too  had  been  built  beyond  the  walls  on  the  south 
side  ;  for  in  "  The  Red  Book  of  Alnwick,"  there  is  an  entry 
in  148S  of  a  payment  of  8d.  yearly  for  a  burgage,  held  by 
Matthew  Bell  in  Bondgate,  beyond  the  tower.* 

Though  the  old  town  was  not  greatly  different  from  the 
present  in  extent,  yet  its  population  was  considerably  less. 
Most  of  the  houses  appear  to  have  been  small  and  low;  many 
of  one  storey  only,  and  few,  if  any,  with  more  than  two. 
The  low  thatched  single  storied  house  near  the  north  end  of 
Bondgate  may  be  taken  as  a  type  of  the  dismal  shabby 
dwellings  of  this  period.  Gardens  and  crofts  were,  however, 
attached  to  most  of  them;  and  the  land  of  the  parish  was  gener- 
ally distributed  among  the  burgesses,  many  of  whom  carried 
on  agricultural  operations.  In  recent  times,  several  of  these 
gardensand  crofts  have  been  converted  into  building  sites.  The 
records  of  the  Augmentation  Office,  relating  to  the  Alnwick 
Chantry,  state  that  in  1545 — ^^  there  is  of  Houseing  people 
in  Alnwick  1500,  within  the  same  parishe."  This  has  been 
mistaken  for  the  entire  population ;  but  Houseing  or  Hotose- 
lynge  peopUy  were  persons  who  were  of  age  to  communicate 
at  the  eucharist,  and  included  all  above  sixteen  years  of  age. 
The  term  seems  to  come  from  husltan,  Anglo-Saxon,  to  give 
or  receive  the  sacrrftaent;  eighteen  hundred  hauselj/nye  people 
addressed  a  letter  in  1553  to  Lord  Cromwell ;  in  a  tract  of 
the  fifteenth  century  on  general  confession  at  Easter,  we 
have  '^  all  that  sail  be  howsyllyt  at  this  messe  knele  down 
on  your  kneys  and  saye."t     Assuming  that  the  houseing 

•  North.  Mem.,  II.,  p.  157.  f  Cat  Vet  Dunclm ,  p.  195. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


people  would  be  about  two-thirds  of  the  population^  we  have 
therefore^  2^250  as  the  entire  population  of  Alnwick  Parish 
in  1545.  Since  then  three  hundred  and  twenty  years  have 
gone  by;  and^  during  that  long  period^  the  increase  has  been 
three  and  a  quarter  times,  giving  an  annual  increase  of  only 
sixteen  persons — a  very  slow  progress.  Relatively,  however, 
the  town  at  this  early  period  was  important ;  Gateshead  then 
had  only  lOOQ;  Barnard  Castle,  1017;  Morpeth,  1150;  the 
great  town  of  Sunderland,  which  now  numbers  68,000,  had 
then  only  1000  howseling  people.  Some  places  now  insigni- 
ficant had  then  a  considerable  population ;  Widdrington  had 
1020,  Warkworth  900,  and  Rothbury  also  900  hotoeeUng 

A  few  references  there  are  in  the  public  records  to  persons 
holding  property  in  Alnwick  during  this  period.  Some  time 
prior  to  1400,  the  distinguished  family  of  Grey,  renowned  in 
early  times  for  its  warriors  and  in  more  recent  tmxes  for  its  orators 
and  statesmen,  was  connected  with  Alnwick  by  holding  property 
there,  consisting  of  two  tenements  and  fifteen  acres  of  land,  of 
which  Sir  Thomas  Grey  was  then  possessed.  He  was  also  the 
owner  of  "Wark  Castle  and  Manor,  of  Straidland,  of  messuages 
and  lands  lying  in  the  fields  of  Bamburgh,  of  HawkhiU,  Middle- 
ton,  Eworth,  Doddington,  Earl,  the  half  of  Reaveley  Manor,  the 
third  part  of  Caldmerton,  of  Howick,  lands  in  Kilham,  Presson, 
and  messuages  in  Newcastle.  He  was  cousin  of  Henry  Percy, 
son  of  the  renowned  Hotspur,  and  was  bom  in  the  middle  ^te 
of  Alnwick  Castle,  on  the  doth  of  March,  1384,  and  was  baptized 
on  the  same  day  in  Alnwick  Church,  swathed  in  a  scarlet  doth 
and  wearing  round  his  waist  a  gilded  zone.  He  rose  to  distinc- 
tion, and  was  trusted ;  but  along  with  the  earl  of  Cambridge  and 
Lord  Scrope  he  conspired  against  his  sovereign,  for  the  purpose 
of  raising  Edmund,  earl  of  March,  to  the  throne.  The  conspirators 
were  executed  ;  and  Sir  Thomas  Grey's  head  was  placed  on  the 
tower  of  Newcastle  "to  be  a  spectacle  of  terror  to  all  beholders." 
The  Alnwick  property  afterwards  passed  to  Sir  William  Grey  in 
1422,  and  then  to  Sir  Balph  Grey,  who,  in  1463,  was  beheaded 
at  Doncaster  for  adherence  to  the  house  of  Lancaster.  His  wife 
Jaquetta  held  the  Alnwick  property  in  1470. 

At  an  earlier  period  still  the  Greys  obtained  Howick.  Li  1289 
it  was  held  by  Kobert  Montalaunt  and  William  Bibaud ;  but 
John  Montalaunt,  who  seems  to  have  been  the  son  of  Bobert, 
took  part  with  the  Scots  rebels  against  his  own  country,  and  his 
estates  were  forfeited.  To  Sir  Thomas  Grey,  who  was  a  distin- 
guished warrior  and  was  supposed  to  be  the  writer  of  the  Scaia 
Chronica^  Edward  II.  panted  in  1 31 8  in  fee  one  hundred  and  eight 
acres  of  land  and  six  husbandlands  in  Howick,  in  the  barony  of 

Digitized  by 



Alirwioki  and  the  vill  of  Qhevington,  which  belonged  to  John 
Mountalaunt,  lately  an  adherent  of  the  Soots.*  l^ese  properties 
still  belong  to  the  illustrious  house  of  Grey. 

John  'V\^ndout,  owner  of  the  manor  of  Hibburne,  of  lands  in 
Newton  on  the  Sea,  in  Earl,  East  Ditohbum,  and  EUins^ham, 
had  in  1378  a  messuage  in  Alnwick,  which  descended  to  his  son, 
and  thence  to  Robert  Hibburne ;  it  was  in  1448  in  possession  of 
Agnes,  wife  of  Robert  Hibburne. 

Alan  de  Strother  and  Alice  Syward  held  lands  in  Alnwick 
from  1372  to  1392. 

Sir  Alan  Hetion,  the  owner  of  Chillingham  Castle  and  Manor, 
held  half  a  tenement  in  Alnwick  in  1388;  and  Sir  Henry  de 
Hetton  had  twenty-four  acres  there  in  1399. 

Isabella,  wife  of  William  Swan,  owner  of  Little  Ryle  and  of 
lands  in  Snitter,  Rothbury,  and  elsewhere,  had  in  1429  one  bur- 
gage in  Alnwick.  Sir  Henry  Fitz-Hugh,  who  had  possessions 
m  Longhurst  and  elsewhere,  had  in  1424  lands  in  Alnwick. 

From  the  names  handed  down  of  owners  of  property  in 
Alnwick,  it  may  be  inferred  that  several  of  the  gentry  of  the 
district  Uved  occasionally  in  Alnwick.  The  whole  country 
around  was  studded  over  with  landowners,  who,  from  the 
tenures  on  which  they  held  their  estates  would  often  appear 
at  Alnwick,  to  take  part  in  the  defence  of  the  county,  and 
to  attend  the  manorial  courts.  Convenient  it  therefore  would 
be  for  them  to  have  residences  in  the  town ;  which  indeed 
might  be  necessary,  since  from  the  Irequent  inroads  of  the 
Scots  they  would  oftentimes  be  compelled  to  seek  the  shelter 
and  protection  of  a  walled  town.f 

Of  buildings  still  remaining  in  the  town,  St.  Michael's 
Church,  the  Chantry  House  in  Walkergate,  and  one  dwelling- 
house  at  least,  are  as  old  as  the  fifteenth  century.  The 
charter  granted  by  Henry  VI.,  shews  that  the  church  was  in 

•  Cal.  Rot,  12  Edward  II.,  m.  12.,  and  Cal.  Inq.,  No.  8. 

f  The  records  of  the  haronial  courts  famish  the  earliest  infonnation  of  the 
names  of  the  ordinary  inhahitants  of  the  town  ;  and  to  some  it  will  be  interesting 
to  give  those  which  appear  in  the  rolls  from  1474  to  1480.  John  Pattonson  de 
Clapot,  Alne  Bamsay  tynkler,  John  Alnewick,  Bobert  Algud,  Robert  Alder, 
Thomas  Archer,  William  Atkinson,  William  Bolden,  Matthew  Bell,  John  Botman, 
John  Brown,  Richard  Belingham,  Chreastene  Bownes,  Edward  Browell,  Qeorge 
Begot,  John  and  Robert  Brandlinge,  John  Bntyman,  Robert  Baxter,  John  Brad- 
ley, John  Clerk,  John  Crawford,  Arthur  de  Chatton,  Thomas  Creswell,  Thomas 
Davyson,  Robert  Draner,  George  Eland,  Richard  Eston,  Robert  Bllesden,  William 
Eresell,  William  Eolberry,  George  Gibson,  George  Galon,  Robert  Gordon,  Thomas 
Hell,  Thomas  Hudson,  Robert  Hudham,  John  Inglice,  Thomas  Jamieson,  Patrick 

Digitized  by 



a  ruinous  condition  in  1464,  and  helps  to  fix  the  date  of  much 
of  the  late  perpendicular  work  seen  in  the  walls  and  tower. 
We  know  that  the  Chantry  House  was  built  a  year  or  two 
later  than  1448;  and  without  much  hesitation,  we  may  refer 
the  last  house  in  Bondgate,  adjoining  to  Narrowgate,  to  the 
early  part  of  the  fifteenth  century,  during  the  time  of  Henry 
Percy,  tlie  second  earl  of  Northumberland.  It  is  a  low 
buildUng  of  two  stories,  with  thick  walls ;  within  are  beams 
of  oak,  and  a  hard  stone  stair  winds  to  the  upper  rooms ;  but 
the  most  remarkable  feature  is  a  stone  panel  in  the  front  wall 
above  the  entrance,  on  which  is  carved  in  high  relief,  two 
Percy  badges  and  motto,  with  another 
Fia  4-0  heraldic  design — Fig.  40.    These  consist 

of  the  crescent,  on  which  is  the  motto 
Esperaunce,  and  of  a  lion  rampant  be- 
tween the  horns  of  the  crescenty  holding 
in  its  paws  a  shield  marked  with  two 
crosiers  placed  saltire,  or  crossways. 
Another  stone,  on  which  is  a  shield  with 
the  Vescy  cross  patonce,  is  built  into  the 
wall  of  the  passage  of  the  same  house. 
The  crosiers  point  to  the  abbot  of  Aln- 
wick Abbey ;  and  the  combined  devices 
with  the  other  characters  of  the  house, 
lead  to  the  supposition  that  it  was  some 
dependency  of  the  abbey,  probably  an 
ancient  hostelry.  In  the  back  premises  of  the  same  house 
are  seen  a  fragment  of  a  slender  column  and  a  capital  of  the 
Early  English  style  of  architecture ;  another  Vescy  shield  is 
built  into  the  front  wall  of  a  house  in  Narrowgate ;  and  a 
richly  crocketed  door  head  of  the  decorated  style  does  service 
as  the  lintel  of  a  window  in  Mr.  Heatley's  house  in  Bondgate; 

Kirkewed,  George  Halliday,  William  Lucas,  Richard  Makerell,  William  Mason, 
George  Milne,  George  Murtoo,  William  and  Thomas  Naddall,  Thomas  Koblet, 
Thomas  Orpeth,  John  Neil,  Robert  Porter,  Thomas  Paxon,  Robert  Potter,  Thomas 
Stell,  Alan  Reed,  Thomas  Richardson,  John  Selby,  William  Robyson,  WilUam 
Riehester,  John  Stanton,  John  Strother,  John  Sclaier,  William  Spearman,  John 

Scharperton,  Robert  Smith,  Steynson,  Richard  Thompson,  Robert  Tbew, 

Robert  Taliour,  John  Tumbull,  Thomas  Walker,  Michael  Watson,  Robert  Wil- 
kinson, Thomas  Watkyn,  Robert  Warwick,  Michael  Watson,  William  Wrmy, 
John  Gray,  John  Chamberlain,  Thomas  Haworth,  Robert  Scott,  Robert  Tnggmll. 
William  Thrap.  In  die  year  1 501,  the  name  of  John  Alnewyck,  ohapUin,  occurs. 
Ko  male  descendants  of  any  of  dieee  families,  except  that  of  I^ew^  are  now  lifing 
in  ^  parish. 

Digitized  by 


THE  TOWN,  CA8TLB,  AlfD  BARONY.  249 

these  fragments  are  probably  spoils  taken  from  Alnwick 
Abbey  after  the  dissolution. 

Another  old  house  of  this  period^  only  recently  destroyed 
to  enlarge  the  White  Swan  Inn,  stood  on  the  north  side  of 
Bondgate,  not  bar  from  the  tower ;  possessing  the  characters 
of  a  pele  of  the  border  land,  it  must  have  been  one  of  the 
most  important  houses  in  the  town.  Two  stories  it  had,  with 
walls  of  immense  thickness,  the  under  storey  being  vaulted 
with  stone,  and  the  entrance  being  by  a  low  door-way  with  a 
pointed  arch ;  long  narrow  openings  passed  diagonally  through 
the  thick  walls,  more  like  loop  holes  through  which  to  annoy 
an  enemy  than  windows  to  admit  light;  but  larger  mullioned 
windows  were  in  the  upper  storey.  Some  important  person- 
age liyed  in  this  pele  house  in  the  days  of  yore — some  warrior 
perhaps,  ready  to  defend  himself  and  the  town  against  Scot^ 
tish  foes. 

Important  it  is  to  notice  the  additional  evidence  of  the 
burgesses  being  an  incorporate  body;  for  at  a  subsequent 
period,  attempts  were  made  to  rob  the  town  of  this  char- 
acter. During  the  time  of  the  De  Vescjrs,  as  we  have 
seen,  the  burgesses  had  a  common  seal,  and  in  their  corporate 
capacity  held  lands;  in  1474,  under  their  common  seal, 
they  appoint  collectors  of  money  for  the  walling  of  the 
town ;  and  the  charter  of  Henry  V I.  recognises  them  as  a 
corporation,  charged  with  important  public  duties. 

in  the  fifteenth  century  the  commerce  of  the  town  was 
considerable;  the  merchants  were  even  exporters  of  the 
produce  of  the  district,  and  traded  to  distant  places.  The 
crafts,  mysteries,  and  fellowships  had  become  incorporated 
into  several  guilds,  whose  records  go  back  into  the  sixteenth 
oentmrv ;  and,  indeed,  some  of  them,  dated  16S0,  profess  to 
be  copies  of  ancient  orders.  The  preamble  to  those  of  the 
cordiners  (shoemakers)  in  1645,  assigns  a  reason  why  such 
earlier  records  were  not  then  in  existence. 

<'  The  Aundent  orders  Institutions  and  Decrees  of  our  Frede- 
oessors,  which  for  the  due  regulateing  and  orderinge  of  this 
Eratemify  of  Ooidiners,  within  the  Burrou^h  of  AInwicke,  were 
by  them  Instituted,  ordered,  and  published  m  writing  under  their 
hands :  And  of  late  by  the  distraction  and  malignanqy  of  the 
tymes,  which  the  unnatural  warres  and  Inhumanitie,  Plundering 
<^our  habitationes  and  Towne  Chambers,  have  been  embedded, 
Lost  and  destroyed,  are  by  vs  the  Alderman,  Assistants,  and 
whole  Society  of  the  aforesaid  Eratenuiy,  BecoUected,  Bevised, 
and  Bepubhshed." 


Digitized  by 



The  goods  exported,  as  eyidenoed  by  the  charter  of  Henrjr 
VI.,  are  sucli  as  we  might  expect  from  the  state  of  the  district. 
Little  land  was  under  the  plough,  but  North  Northumberland 

I^resented  broad  pastures  and  wild  moor-lands,  on  which  grazed 
arge  numbers  of  sheep  and  cattle,  and  hence  there  were 
no  exports  of  com.  Indeed,  the  corn  raised  was  inadequate 
for  the  wants  of  the  district,  and  supplies  had  to  be  imported. 
Henry  Percy  obtained,  in  1412,  a  license  to  carry  com,  oats, 
beans,  and  peas  from  Lincoln  and  Norfolk  to  Berwick  ;*  and 
there  seems  to  have  been  a  necessity  to  import  com  into  the 
county  even  in  the  time  of  Henry  YIIL  In  a  letter  from 
Lawson  to  the  king  in  15SS,  he  states  that  seven  Scottish 
ships  of  war  had  sailed  out  of  Scotland  to  capture  ships  laden 
with  com  for  Berwick,  and  he  beseeches  him  *'  to  save  the 
little  ships,"  by  giving  warning  along  the  coast,  that  the 
victuallers  may  take  refuge  in  safe  harbours.  Part  of  the 
corn  was  ready,  he  says,  to  be  sent  to  Aylemouth  and  Holy 
Island.  Such,  however,  was  the  wretched  condition  of  the 
navy  of  England,  that  these  war  ships  of  Scotland  were  un- 
opposed, and  swept  the  seas  from  the  Humber  to  the  Tweed, 
capturing  thirty  of  the  English  vessels,  laden  with  com  and 
other  goods.f  Wool,  wool-fels,  hides,  fish,  and  coal  were 
the  exports  of  the  merchants  of  Alnwick  from  Alnmouth. 

As  coals  were  then  exported^  we  may  infer  that  they  were 
worked  more  extensively  in  the  district  than  at  the  present 
time.  Coals  we  know  were  worked  in  Alnwick  Moor  by  the 
burgesses  in  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries,  and  in 
the  early  half  of  the  eighteenth  century  ;  but  more  for  home 
consumption  than  export.  Hall  and  Humberston's  Survey 
of  the  Barony  of  Alnwick  in  1569  indicates  the  places  where 
they  were  mmed.  William  Grey,  it  says,  holds  all  mines 
and  coal-pits  in  the  fields  of  Bilton  and  in  the  manor  of 
Alnwick,  with  free  passage  to  Aylemouth,  for  the  term  of 
sixty  years,  at  the  yearly  rent  of  £4  14s.  Od.$ 

The  connection  between  the  town  of  Alnwick  and  its  port 
Alnmouth  is  interestingly  shewn  by  a  document  preserved 

•  Rot.  Scot,  p.  101.  t  State  Papers. 

{  In  1299,  Heniy  IIL  granted  a  charter  to  the  bnigeaeee  of  Neweastle  to  dig 
coali  in  the  Castle  Field  and  in  the  Forth.  In  No?emher,  1884,  Richard  II. 
gave  license  to  John  de  Nevill  to  dig  for  sea  coals  (^Curbonibut  MmriHmU)  if  thej 
can  be  fsund,  in  the  king's  demesne  of  Bambnigh  for  the  ase  of  the  garrison  of 
the  osstle»  and  for  sale.  The  name  sm  coqU  was  gi? en,  because  when  exported 
they  were  sent  by  ses. 

Digitized  by 



among  the  corporation  muniments,  in  whicli  the  burgesses 
agree  to  make  a  weir  or  haven  at  Alnmoutb,  and  the  earl  of 
Northumberland  covenants  to  supply  wood  for  the  purpose. 

<<  This  Indenture  maide  the  fWth  Daie  of  December  an  the  X33^  jere  of 
the  reign  of  oure  Soveraign  Lorde  Eynge  Heniy  the  eight,  Betwixt  maister 
ThomaB  franke  Clarke,  Bachelere  of  lawe  and  surveioure  of  all  the  lands  of 
the  ryght  noble  erle  of  Northumberland  of  the  one  partie,  And  Qeorgd 
OlurkBrai,  William  Bednell,  mfirchands,  John  Graie,  G^eorge  Watson,  Edward 
Thomson,  WilHam  Anderson,  Burgesses  of  the  town  of  Alnewyke,  with  all 
other  coburgges  of  the  seid  town  in  the  lewe  and  name  of  theym  selfe  and  all 
other  coburgesses  of  the  said  town  of  the  other  paitie,  Witnessys  that  it  agreid 
and  convenantyth  Betwyne  the  said  parties  in  manere  and  forme  folowynge : 
First,  the  seid  Burgesses  of  the  seid  town  Doth  eonvenajid  and  grant  that  they 
of  their  own  propere  costs  and  char^  shall  make  a  wey ve  or  a  havyn  at  ihb 
town  of  Ailemouth,  so  that  the  seid  Erie  or  his  Assi^^neys  do  deliver  theym 
sufficient  wodde  for  the  same.  And  a^lso  that  the  seid  £rlys  Tenints  make 
eariage  of  the  seid  wodde  3S  they  have  promysed.  And  for  tMs  havyn  thus 
to  be  maide  at  ther  costs  and  chfu'gis  the  seid  Thomas  Franke  covenands  and 
nuntis  of  tiie  seid  Eiles  behalf  the  assignement  of  sexe  oke  trees  and  of  other 
Bamell  *  sufficyent  for  the  «eid  warke  to  be  felled  and  hewyn  at  the  costs  and 
charges  of  the  seid  Burgesses.  And  this  the  said  surveyor  of  the  behalf  of  the 
seid  lorde  and  meister  convenands  and  grantith  that  the  seid  Erie  shall  imme- 
diately after  the  makynge  of  the  seid  haven  or  koey  oonfiBrme  and  grant  imto 
the  said  Burgesses  by  his  Wryttynge  under  his  Seale  of  Armys  all  such  liber- 
ties as  his  nMs  Annoestouxs  ha&  aforetyme  givyn  unto  the  Burgesses  of  the 
seid  Town  of  Alnewyke  and  Ailemouth.  In  witness  whereof,  both  tiie  parties 
above  seid  to  either  partie  of  the  seid  Indenture  enterchangieably  hath  sette 
ther  sealis  the  daie  and  yere  above  seid. 

per  me,  Thomas  Franks,  S." 

Alnmouth  is  thus  so  closelv  linked  with  Alnwick^  that  we 
may  give  a  brief  abstract  of  the  surveys^  made  at  this  period, 
relating  to  it.  From  the  Conquest,  it  had  been  a  manor  of 
the  barony  of  Alnwick.  In  1569,  most  of  the  property  was 
held  under  burgage  tenure;  and  of  these  burgages  there  were 
sixty-one,  all,  excepting  two,  of  moderate  extent.  The  follow- 
ing example  shews  the  nature  of  the  tenure  and  the  usual 
extent  of  the  burgage  :— 

'*  Thomas  Daund,  senior,  holds  one  burgage  and  one  selionof 
of  land,  lying  between  the  burgage  of  Biohard  Clerkson  on  the 
south  party  and  the  burgage  ox  Bobert  Pyne  on  the  north  part, 
which  same  burgage  Ihe  said  Thomas  holds  of  the  chief  lord  of 
the  fee,  by  service  thence  due  and  of  right  accustomed  for  ever, 
and  renders  thence  yearly  at  the  feast  of  Martimnas  and  Pente- 
cost in  equal  portions  6d."  The  rente  varied  from  6d.  to  2s.  6d. 
yearly.     The  two  larger  burgages  are  the  following : — 

''  Bichard  Midlam  holds  one  tenement  and  certain  lands  and 
bui^ages,  and  renders  thence  yearly,  19s.  Id. 

•  Boughs,  branches,  or  lops  of  trees,  from  ramailea,  Norman-French, 
f  A  ridge  of  land,  usually  less  than  an  acre. 

Digitized  by 



The  hdirs  of  Bichard  derkson  hold  one  tenement  and  60  i 
of  land  called  Chalford's  Lands,  one  croft  called  Baker's  Oroft, 
one  dose  called  Close  Hill,  one  watery  bog  called  Howie  KjU, 
one  burgage  in  Aylemouth,  and  certain  lands  in  the  town  and 
fields  of  Ajlemouth,  and  render  thence  yearly,  25s.  lOd." 

There  appear  to  have  been  only  two  copyholds  ;  Boger 
Harryson  held  10  acres  of  land  lying  in  the  fields  of  Lesbuiy, 
according  to  the  custom  of  the  Oockermouth  Manor,  paying  lOs. 
yearly;  Ueor^  Olerkson  held  one  tenement  and  60  acres  of  land 
and  meadow  in  the  town  and  fields  of  Aylemouth,  on  the  same 
tenure,  the  rent  being  60s. 

John  Hudson  then  had  the  warren  extending  from  Howick 
Bum  to  the  mouth  of  the  Ayle  at  a  rent  of  40s.  The  total  sum 
produced  by  this  manor  to  the  lord  of  the  fee  was  £9  14s.  1^. 

The  church  at  this  period  was  standing  nearly  entire  ''upon 
the  south  part  of  the  Dorough,  on  a  water  bank  nigh  to  the 
haven^  with  a  ch\irch-yard ;"  it  was  covered  with  lead. 
Prior  to  the  reformation^  it  belonged  to  Alnwick  Abbey  and 
was  served  by  three  priests  and  one  clerk ;  two  of  them,  the 
master  and  his  fellow^  otherwise  named  the  vicar  and  his 
fellow^  had  their  living  from  the  abbot  and  convent  of  Aln- 
wick ;  and  as  part  of  his  living,  the  vicar  had  two  tenements 
in  Alnmouth,  with  land  appertaining,  which  belonged  to  the 
Alnwick  Abbey,  and  also  diverse  burgages  in  Alnmouth, 
with  all  manner  of  tithes  of  the  town,  the  tithe  fish  of  his 
own  coble,  and  the  tithe  fish  of  all  the  rest  of  the  cobles. 
The  third  priest  and  the  clerk  were  maintained  by  the  in- 
habitants of  the  town.  But  after  the  reformation,  there  was 
only  one  stipendiary  priest,  Boger  Spence,  who  had  the  petty 
tithes  of  the  town,  and  a  stipend  of  468.  8d. ;  the  tithes  of 
the  fish  taken  with  cobles  on  the  sea  were  leased  to  Sir 
Cuthbert  Batclyff,  at  a  rental  of  £6  ISs.  4d.,  and  of  salmon 
taken  in  the  Aln  at  lOs.  yearly.  The  clerk  for  wages 
had  4d.  from  every  fire-house,  but  '*not  well  paid,"  and 
producing  less  than  5Ss.  4d.  yearly.  At  the  Chancellor's 
visitation  held  at  Alnwick  on  the  S9th  of  June,  1577,  Boger 
Simpson  appeared  as  the  curate  of  Ailemouth  Church,  and 
Edward  Spence  as  parish  clerk.  It  was  therefore  feared, 
that  after  his  death,  there  would  be  no  priest  of  any  under- 
standing or  knowledge,  who  will  take  upon  him  the  cure ; 
and  all  for  lack  of  living.  *'£ven  so,"  thus  runs  the  record, 
''the  churche  shall  decaye,  and  the  inhabitants  there  be 
brought  to  nothinge  and  in  the  end  the  town  wast,  which 
plague  God  avoyd."  Notwithstanding  this  prophetic  warn- 
ing, the  church  went  to  ruin ;  in  1610,  there  was  neither 

Digitized  by 


THE   TOWN,  CA8TLB,   AKT>   BARONT.  £58 

bible,  homilies,  surplice,  nor  pulpit;  and  the  body  of  the 
chapel  was  in  decay ;  and  its  utter  ruin  was  hastened  by 
wanton  spoliation;  John  Carr,  gentleman,  Ralph  Carr,  gentle- 
man, and  Edward  Shepherd  were  presented  at  the  Arch- 
deacon^s  Court  a  little  after  the  restoration  for  taking  away 
the  leads,  the  bells,  and  stones  fi-om  Alnmouth  Church. 
After  this,  it  stood  a  roofless  ruin,  near  the  edge  of  a  cliff 
against  which  the  high  tides  and  stormy  waves,  break- 
ing with  violence,  carried  away  portions  time  after  time,  till 
the  worn  and  wasted  walls,  tottering  on  the  brink,  were 
blown  down  by  a  great  gale  on  the  25th  of  December,  1806. 
The  church  was  in  the  form  of  a  cross  ;  in  "Grose's  Antiqui- 
ties "  there  is  a  drawing  of  it  as  it  appeared  in  1775.* 

The  changes  in  Alnwick  Castle  during  these  two  centuries 
were  few  and  unimportant.  Under  the  first  and  second 
Barons  Percy,  it  had  attained  its  highest  development  as  a 
place  of  defence ;  and  up  to  the  end  of  this  period  it  was 
kept  in  the  same  character,  being  little  used  as  an  ordinary 
residence,  but  generally  garrisoned  by  soldiers,  It  was  only 
when  the  baron  was  of  a  warlike  disposition  or  compelled 
by  his  office  as  warden,  that  he  dwelt  in  the  halls  of  Alnwick 
Castle  amidst  his  armed  Northumbrian  vassals. 

The  upper  part  of  the  Curtain  Wall  north  of  the  Barbican 
is  supposed  to  have  been  built  in  the  middle  of  the  fifteenth 
century,  as  the  string  course  of  masonry  corresponds  with 
one  in  the  south  wall  of  Alnwick  Church. 

Of  the  state  of  the  castle  and  barony  during  the  sixteenth 
century,  there  is  full  information  from  surveys;  one  was 
made  by  Belly sys  and  others  in  1538;  one  by  Hall  and 
Humberstonin  1567;  one  by  Clarkson  in  1569;  and  another 
by  Mason  a  little  after  1600.  From  these  surveys,  but  more 
especially  from  Hall's  and  from  Clarkson's,  I  give  the  follow- 
ing condensed  account,  preserving  to  a  certain  extent  the 
quaint  phraseology  of  the  original  descriptions  :— 

Alnwick  Castle  is  a  very  goodly  house — very  ancient,  large, 
beautiful,  and  portly,  situate  on  the  south  side  of  the  river  Aln 
upon  a  little  Mote.  It  is  well  built  of  stone,  and  is  of  great 
receipt ;  but  neither  of  itself,  nor  from  its  situation  of  any 
strength,  but  for  the  manner  of  the  wars  of  that  country ;  and 
otherwise  not  able  to  abide  the  force  of  any  shot  or  to  hold  out 

*  St  Waleric,  to  whom  the  church  was  dedicated,  was  the  first  abhot  of  the 
monastery  of  St  Waleric  in  Picardy,  and  died  December  12.  622.  Wilh'am  the 
Conqueror  irsve  to  this  abbpy  lands  in  the  vill  of  Takeleve.     Cal.  Gen.,  I.,  p  9, 

Digitized  by 




any  time  if  assaulted.  The  circuit  of  the  walls  is  376  yards. 
There  are  three  principal  wards — {Plate  IV.,  A.,  B.,  C.)  In 
the  Outer  Ward  where  the  entry  is  from  the  town,  there  is  a 
fair  gate  house — the  Barbican — covered  with  lead,  with  two  pair 
of  wood  gates,  and  on  either  side  is  a  Porter's  Lodge  two  stories 
high,  but'ruinous  and  in  decay;  without  this  gate  is  a  fair 
turnpike,  double-battled  about,  with  a  pair  of  wood  gates  in  its 
outermost  part ;  between  the  Barbican  and  this  turnpike  there 
are  a  ditch  and  a  draw-bridge;  but  in  1538  the  draw-bridge 
required  to  be  new  made,  and  in  1567  the  ditch  was  fflled  up 
and  paved.  Northward  of  the  Barbican,  in  the  Curtain  Wall,  is 
a  turret  covered  with  stone,  two  stories  high  (2) ;  and  at  the  north- 
west comer  of  this  wall  stands  the  Abbot's  Tower,  of  three  stories 
high  (3) ;  from  this  the  Curtain  Wall  runs  eastward  and  joins 
the  Donjon  or  Keep;  and  between  the  tower  and  Donjon  are 
two  little  garretts  (4,  5).* 

Fia  4-1 


Southward  of  the  Barbican,  the  Curtain  Wall  extends  to  the 
comer,  and  in  the  middle  between  them  is  one  garrett  on  the 
walL  The  Curtain  Wall  turns  eastward  from  this  comer  tower, 
and  between  it  and  the  middle  gate  house  is  the  Auditor's  Tower, 
of  three  stories  height  (13).  The  Checker  House  stands  on  the  left 
hand  side  of  the  Barbican,  within  the  walls,  two  stories  high,  the 

*  These  were  subsequently  called  the  Falconer's  and  Armourer's  Towers. 

Digitized  by 



upper  bein^  used  as  a  court  liotise  (18) ;  and  on  the  other  side 
of  the  Barbican  is  a  house  for  a  stable  two  stories  high  (16) ;  and 
another  stable  stands  between  the  gates  east  and  west  (14).  The 
gate  house  tower  for  the  middle  gate  is  of  three  and  in  some 
parts  four  stories  height;  on  the  len  hand  is  a  strong  prison  and 
on  the  right  a  Porter's  Lodge ;  the  stories  above  contain  hall| 
Htchen,  buttery,  pantry,  and  lodgings  for  a  constable  or  other 
gentlemen  to  keep  house  in  (11). 

From  this  middle  gate  house  the  Curtain  Wall  goeth  eastward 
to  the  Gardener's  Tower,  which  is  three  parts  round,  of  three 
stories  height,  but  not  higher  than  the  battlement  of  the  Curtain 
Wall  (9) ;  between  this  tower  and  the  middle  gate  are  two  little 
garretts  in  the  wall.  From  this  round  comer  tower,  the  wall 
turns  to  the  north-west,  to  the  Eavine  Tower,  which  is  three 
stories  high  and  three  parts  round,  but  now  so  rent  as  to  be  ready 
to  fall  (8).  Further  north-westward  is  the  Constable's  Tower, 
three  stories  high  and  three  parts  round  (7)  ;  and  in  the  north- 
west comer  stands  the  Postern  Tower,  three  stories  high  and  with 
agarrett  in  the  north-west  comer  raised  above  its  battiement  (6). 
Within  this  inner  curtain  or  bailey,  between  the  middle  gate 
and  the  garrett  east  of  it,  is  a  house  on  the  Curtain  Wail  t£ree 
stories  high,  partly  used  as  a  stable ;  and  on  the  east  end  of  it  a 
little  house,  within  which  is  a  one  horse-miln,  now  in  decay  (10). 
A  little  £rom  this  was  another  house,  used  oiily  for  keeping  hay. 

Nigh  to  the  Curtain  Wall,  between  the  Constable's  and  the 
Bavine  Towers,  is  built  one  fair  chapel,  the  walls  of  which  are  21 
feet  high,  the  length  57  feet,  and  the  breadth  2 1  feet  (12).  Before 
the  chapel  door  is  a  conduit  set  with  stone  and  a  diest  of  lead, 
and  to  this  dstem  a  goodly  course  of  trim  and  sweet  water 
eometh  in  leaden  pipes  urom  Howlinge  Well  (19). 

The  Brewhouse  is  between  the  Constable's  and  Postern  Towers; 
the  Bakehouse  joins  the  Postern  Tower ;  and  joined  to  that  is  a 
slaughter  house ;  and  joining  these  on  the  west  side  is  the  site 
of  the  Chantry  House,  of  which  nothing  is  now  left  but  one  wall. 

The  Donjon  or  Keep  is  set  of  a  little  mote  made  with  men's 
hands,  and  for  the  most  part,  as  if  it  were  square,  the  circuit 
being  225  yards ;  ''  it  is  a  fair  and  pathe  building,"  with  seven 
round  towers  and  four  garretts.  Between  the  garretts  are  lodg- 
ings. The  gate  house  is  of  two  towers,  four  stories  high,  and  is 
a  stately  building.  The  other  towers  are  all  three  stories  high 
and  covered  with  lead.  Bound  the  Donjon  is  a  trim  walk  and 
a  fair  prospect.  Within  it  is  the  hall,  chambers,  and  all  other 
manner  of  houses  and  offices  for  the  lord  and  his  train.  The 
south  side  thereof  serves  for  the  lords'  and  ladies'  lodgings ;  and 
underneath  them  are  the  prison,  the  porter's  lodge,  and  wine 
cellars,  with  skullery.  The  west  side  is  for  chambers  and  ward- 
robe. On  the  east  side  are  the  hall,  kitchen,  chambers,  and 
pantry;    and  underneath  the  hall  is  a  marvellous  fair  vault. 

Digitized  by 



wbicli  is  the  'buttery.  Undemigh  the  kitchen  10  die  larder,  and 
at  the  end  of  the  hnttery  is  a  £aw-well,  which  for  a  long  time 
has  not  been  used.  Within  the  Donjon  is  a  proper  little  conrten 
for  the  most  part  m^uare  and  well  pared  with  stone.  On  ti^e 
west  side  of  the  Donjon  is  raised  a  little  square  tower,  called  the 
Watch  Tower,  where  Hes  a  watchman  with  a  beacon  to  be  set  or 

In  1537  there  were  in  the  castle  180  bows,  410  bills,  12  shea£i 
of  arrows,  and  10  pieoes  of  old  ordnance,  ftc.  There  was  also  at 
this  period  a  Friars  Tower  which  was  then  rent,  but  its  situation 
is  now  indeterminable. 

There  is  a  reference  to  the  chapel  of  Alnwick  Castle  in  the 
following  extract  from  records  of  the  priory  of  Coldingham. 

"17  June,  1465,  Andrew,  bishop  of  Glasgow,  Archibald,  abbot 
of  Holyrood  House,  Mr.  James  Lindsay,  keeper  of  the  Privy 
Seal,  and  James  Lord  Livingstone  as  ambassadors  had  come  to 
Alnwick  to  treat  with  the  commissioners  of  the  king  of  England 
concerning  peace  between  the  realms,  and  William  Layborn,  the 
papal  nuncio,  shewed  them  there  a  citation  against  Patrick  and 
John  Home,  two  canons  of  the  Oollegiate  CSiurch  of  Dunbar, 
who  had  intruded  themselves  into  Coldingham  Priory  contrary 
to  John  Pencher,  but  which  they  dared  not  execute  in  Scotland 
owing  to  the  influence  of  the  intruders'  kinsman  Lord  Home. 
This  citation  he  exhibited  to  the  Scottish  embassy — <<  in  vestibulo 
juxta  idtare  infht  magnam  capellam  in  Castello  de  Alnwick  pre- 
dicto  situatum  " — in  the  porcn  near  the  altar  beneatib  the  great 
chapel  in  the  castle  of  Alnwick,  in  presence  of  John  Neville,  earl 
of  rTorthumberland,  Lord  Montague,  warden  of  the  East  and 
Middle  Marches,  and  o^ers." 

Though  not  residing  much  at  Alnwick,  the  earls  of  North- 
umberland kept  up  a  stately  official  establishment  for  the 
management  of  the  barony.  In  the  surveys  made  near  the 
close  of  the  period,  much  curious  information  is  given  on  this 
subject.     Notwithstanding  the  increase  of  the  king's  prero- 

Stive  and  the  eradual  growth  of  the  power  of  the  commons^ 
E^se  great  northern  barons  affected  ttie  state  of  petty  kings, 
and  seem,  indeed,  still  to  have  exercised  a  kind  of  regal  author- 
ity. In  Hall's  Survey,  made  in  1567,  the  officers  bebnging 
to  the  **  Castell  of  Alnewyke"  are  said  to  be 

The  CoMtahU^  the  highest,  who  has  charge  and  custody  of  the 
castle,  and  command  over  the  other  officers  in  the  absence  of  the 
lord ;  he  occupied  the  "  constable's  lodging  "  and  had  for  his  fee 
yearly  £20  :  Th$  Porter ^  who  had  the  custody  of  the  K&te  of  the 
Outer  Ward  and  the  custody  of  prisoners ;  his  yearfy  fee  was 
100s. :     The  Castie-greave,  who  attached  all  offenders  either  for 

Digitized  by 



trespass,  debt,  or  otherwise,  by  oonunandment,  and  who  saw  them 
safdy  oonyeyed  to  ward,  until  delivered  by  order  of  law ;  and 
his  fee  was  508.  8d. :  The  Receiver  and  Auditor^  who  kept  audit 
in  a  house  called  the  Exchequer ;  his  yearly  fee  was  £10 :  7%e 
Feodary^  who  looked  to  all  the  wards  after  the  death  of  their 
ancestors  and  who  kept  ''substantial  records"  for  preservation 
of  the  services  due  from  manors;  his  yearly  fee  was  100s. :  'A 
Learned  Stewart^  to  adminster  justice,  whose  yearly  fee  was  £7 : 
The  derk  of  the  Courte,  who  kept  the  lord's  court,  engrossed  the 
rolls,  and  took  care  of  the  records;  his  yearly  fee  was  £6  6s.  8d. ; 
The  Foreign  Bailiff,  who  collected  the  castle  ward  and  comage 
money  of  the  barony  and  warned  the  tenants  and  inhabitants  to 
attend  upon  the  lord  or  his  deputy  ;  his  yearly  fee  was  60s.  8d. 

The  following  were  officers  at  this  time: — Nicholas  Forstor, 
constable  of  the  castle;  Bichard  Hakke,  porter;  GFeorge  Metcid^ 
receiver  and  feodary  of  the  barony;  Gawin  Salkeld,  bailiff  of 
Alnwick ;  Thomas  Bates,  chief  steward  of  the  barony ;  Gborge 
Clarkson,  clerk  of  the  courts ;  Thomas  Frenche,  foreign  bailiff; 
WiUiam  Grey,  bailiff  of  the  castle ;  OdneU  Selby,  keeper  of  Holn 
Park;  Chrisikopher  Armorer  and  Ingram  Saukeld,  keepers  of 
West  Park;  John  Gallon  and  Hugh  Selby,  keepers  of  Oawledge 

To  the  barony  at  this  time  belonged  in  demesne,  according  to 
the  same  survey,  the  town  and  borough  of  Aylemoutli,  ^e  towns 
of  Denwyke,  Bylton,  Lesbuiy,  Houghton  Magna,  Houghton 
Parva,  Shylbottell,  Guysons,  Buglee,  Bennyngton,  South  Charle- 
ton,  Norti  Charleton,  Pteston,  Tughall,  Swynnow,  Newham, 
Lucker,  Lyham,  Chatton,  Fawdon,  Aylneham,  Awkehyll,  New- 
ton-Super-Moram,  Newton-Super-Mare,  Hausand,  Moryke,  Est 
C^evyngton,  Howick,  Booke,  Fallowden,  and  Brunton.  But 
though  all  these  places  were  members  of  the  barony,  many  of 
them  were  not  in  tne  possession  of  the  baron,  for  they  had  been 
''freely  of  ancient  time"  granted.  The  following  towns  rendered 
service  to  the  barony  and  were  for  the  most  part  held  by  knighto' 
service  and  by  payment  of  castle  ward  rent  and  comage,  vix. : — 
Hoppen,  Edderston,  Spendelston,  BudeU,  Elwyke,  D^dyngton, 
Nesbitt,  Horton,  Hesserngq^ei  Lyham,  Powbeny,  Wetwood,  Oald- 
merton,  Yardell,  Ingram,  Byvell,  Hartsyde,  I^dyke,  G^jrmonr 
don,  Bvttlesden,  Olenell,  Nederton,  Borowden,  Allenton,  ^tton, 
Ambell,  Shwperton,  Thumam,  Scrynewood,  Hakeley,  Chellyng- 
ham,  Eworth,  and  Hybbome. 

Two  parks  at  this  time  belonged  to  the  castle— one  Holn  Park 
on  the  west  side,  within  a  mile  of  the  castle,  well  replenished  i 
with  fallow  Deer,  and  well  set  with  underwoods  for  cover 
and  preservation  of  the  deer,  and  having  the  jijfne  running 
through  it,  is  very  stately  park-like  ground ;  it  is  for  the  most 
part  enclosed  with  a  stone  wall  twenty  miles  in  compass ;  for  this 
park  ti^ere  are  two  keepers  of  the  deer,  whose  yeauy  fee  each  is 

Digitized  by 



B.  8d.  The  other  (College)  Oawledge  Park  was  southward  of 
[nwick,  and  was  in  compass  six  miles  and  partly  enclosed  with 
a  pale  which  is  in  great  decay,  and  hence  there  is  no  great  plenty 
of  deer ;  there  are  two  keepers  each  with  a  fee  yearly  of  60s.  8d. 
There  were  three  other  deer  parks  belonging  to  the  earl  in  the 
county  of  Northumberland.  An  account  taken  in  1513  of  the 
Deer  in  the  Parks  and  Forests  of  the  North  belonging  to  the 
Earl,  gives  the  following  particulars : — 

In  Holn  Park  there  were  of  Fallow  Deer,        . .       879 
CawledgePark  Ditto,  ..       586 

Warkworth  Park  Ditto,  .,       150 

Acklington  Park  Ditto,  . .       144 

Bothbury  Forest,  Bed  Deer,  • .  . .       153 

Total        . .     r912 
la  his  other  parks  in  Yorkshire  and  Cumberland 

there  were  of  Fallow  and  Bed  Deer,         . «     8659 

Total        . ,     5571 
This  large  number  is  exdusire  of  the  deer  which  the  earl  had 
in  his  parks  in  Sussex  and  other  places  in  the  south  of  England. 

Daring  the  fifteenth  century  the  baronial  courts  were  in 
their  glory.  "  The  chief  lord  of  the  fee  "  says  The  Bed 
Book  of  Alnunck,  "was  thoroughly  answered  of  all  profits, 
escheats,  and  other  causalities  due  to  him  with  his  rents  at 
terms  accustomed  duely  paid,  and  his  officers  every  one  in 
their  office  feared  and  obeyed ;  so  that  in  time  of  service 
where  was  there  in  all  the  county  one  gentleman  of  honour 
or  worship,  that  had  such  a  company  of  gentlemen  and  good 
servitors  as  the  chief  constable  of  the  said  castle  and  barony 
of  Alnwick,"*  According  to  Clarkson's  Survey  a  singular 
power  was  exercised  by  this  court ;  for  from  ancient  time  it 
appointed  certain  persons  to  keep  good  houses  to  serve  travel- 
lers and  also  inhabiters  in  the  town  requiring  lodging,  meat, 
and  drink,  and  also  stabling  and  horse-meat,  no  other  persons 
being  allowed  to  provide  a  feast  for  payment.  This  monopoly, 
however,  was  broken  up  in  Queen  Elizabeth's  reign,  for 
Clarkson  complains  that  now  the  inhabitants  have  begun  to 
make  bridals,  and  church  dinners  when  their  wives  were 
churched,  and  to  take  payment  for  the  same.f 

•  Hist  and  Antiq.  of  North.,  IL,  p.  159. 

t  Ibid«  p.  160.    Of  the  baronial  conrta  I  shall  give  a  more  partioiilar  aeeonnt 
in  a  snbseqnent  chapter. 

Digitized  by 



I  shall  now  give  a  particular  account  of  the  names  of  the 
holders  of  property  in  Alnwick  and  of  the  tenures  hy  which 
it  was  held,  as  conttuned  in  the  valuable  survey  of  the  barony 
of  Alnwick  made  by  Hall  and  Humberston  on  the  17th  of 
May,  1569^  when  the  barony  was  in  the  possession  of  Queen 
Elizabeth*     This  survey  is  among  the  public  records. 

First  we  have  the  rents  of  the  free  burgesses  within  the 
tovm  of  Alntoick.  Under  the  first  name  I  give  in  full  the 
description  of  the  tenure;  all  the  others  following  under  this 
head  held  under  the  same  tenure,  but  the  particulars  are  not 

R.  Ogle  holds  one  bnrgaee  in  the  town  of  Alnwick,  with  appmtenanoee, 
which  he  holds  freely  by  cnarter  in  free  socage,  by  service  of  suit  of  court, 
and  renders  thence  yearly,  at  the  feasts  of  Pentecost  and  Saint  Martin  in 
winter,  by  equal  payments,*  8d. ;  N.  Walby,  as  above,  7d. ;  William  Ghrey,  6d. ; 
William  Grey,  Id. ;  Henry  Swinhowe,  7d. ;  William  Ghrey,  James  Phylpe, 
and  William  Creighton,  6d. ;  Widow  IndLepp  holds  one  t^iement,  &c..  Id. ; 
the  same  holds  one  burgage,  9d. ;  William  Grey,  as  above,  4d. ;  the  said 
William  hoMs  a  burgage  on  the  west  -part  of  the  said  burgage,  7d. ;  David 
Harbottell,  as  above,  7d. ;  the  same  David,  as  above,  6d. ;  John  Watson,  2d. ; 
Balph  Boltflower,  two  burgages  west  of  above,  12d. ;  Johazma  Wynnyate, 
one  burgage  west  of  above,  6d. ;  Thomas  Trollop,  west  of  above^  3d. ;  William 
Orey,  one  Durnge  oyerthrown,  lying  south  of  liie  street  called  Walkergate, 
6d. ;  the  same  William,  one  burgage  -overthrown,  east  of  the  aforesaid,  6^  ; 
Bobert  Pallett,  one  burgage  lymg  east,  14d. ;  William  Grey,  one  burgage 
overthrown,  east,  7d. ;  George  Grey,  6d. ;  Margaret  Kydnell,  7d. ;  Harryson, 
2d.  (all  eastward  of  the  preceding) ;  John  6tanton,t  of  Huntercroft,  holds  one 
tenement  called  Huntercroft,  3s. ;  Richard  Bennett,  one  burgage  in  the  said 
street,  6d. ;  Richard  Bennett,  one  burgage  in  the  said  street  at  Castlegate, 
3s.  3d. ;  Hall,  one  burgage  in  Alnwick,  8d. ;  Richard  Clark,  the  same,  12d. ; 
Tristram  Grey,  the  same,  8d. ;  Thomas  Archer,  the  same,  13d.;  Richard  Har- 
bottell, the  same,  7d. ;  Robert  Taylor,  one  burgage  and  other  nremises,  7d. ; 
John  Wylam,  one  burgage,  6d. ;  Ayer,  the  same,  6d. ;  John  jBrowne  holds 
one  tenement  in  the  said  town,  with  aU  lands,  meadows,  and  pastures  to  the 
same  belonging,  6s. :  George  Metcalfe,  one  burgage,  8d. ;  the  said  George, 
three  burgages,  22d. ;  the  said  George,  one  burgage  adjacent,  8M. ;  Ghimet, 
one  burgage,  8Jd. ;  Ralph  Boltflower,  4s.  7d. ;  Eaward  Bedwell,  iSd. ;  Thomas 
Toung,  lOd. ;  Fell,  lOd. ;  Matthew  Lee,  9d. ;  The  Lady  the  Queen  has  in  her 
own  £uids  one  burgage  lately — Aleson,  which  was  wont  to  render  at  the  feasts 
aforesaid,  yearly,  lOd. ;  William  Shell,  one  bun^age,  lOd. ;  Richard  Tounff, 
lOd. ;  the  heirs  of  Roger  Bednall,  14d. ;  John  Atkinson,  east  of  the  afDresaid, 
8d. ;  William  Cruston,  east,  16Jd. ;  William  Curseley,  7d. ;  the  heir  of  Cur- 
sley,  lid. ;  William  Bednell,  8d. ;  Kich.  Arcle,  3s. ;  Margaret  Ladyman,  8d. ; 
Edward  Ladyman,  8d. ;  William  Taylor,  ^d. ;  William  Taylor,  2s.  lOd. : 
John  Fargus,  IS^d. ;  John  Fergus,  lOd. ;  Margai«tt  Styrkett,  12d. ;  Margarett 
Styrkett,  7d. ;  Thomas  Watson,  16d. ;  Nich.  Stanton,  16d. ;  Rob  Wilkinson, 
6d.;  Thomas  Cutler,  lOd.;  John  Kannell,  8d.;    Cuthbert  Andenon,  Sd.; 

*  *'  R.  Ogle  tenet  nnnm  burgagium  in  villa  de  Alnewyck,  cum  pertinentiis, 
quod  tenet  libere  per  cartam  in  Hbero  sucagio,  per  servicio  sectie  curiae,  et  reddi- 
tus  inde  per  annum  ad  festa  Penticostis  et  Sancti  Martini  in  hieme  equal.'* 

t  John  Stanton  was  schoolmaster  and  pariah  clerk  in  1577. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


Heoary Tonffe,  8d.;  Thomaa  Smaflas,  lOd.;  BolMrt  lAdymuii  6d«;  G«(ng6 
Metcalf,  12d.;  Henry  Tounger,  8d.* 

AU  burgages  tituatB  on  the  mmth  aide  of  the  aforesaid  street  eaXUd  Bondgate, 
beginning  on  the  east  side  and  passing  towards  the  west, 
Nicholas  Chandler  holds  one  burgage  tiiere  as  above  and  rendem  as  above^ 
&o.,  6d. ;  John  Qale,  6d. ;  John  Dawson,  8d. ;  William  Bednell,  8d. ;  John 
Golfe,  8d. ;  Pumperte,  12d. ;  Nicholas  Stanton,  12d. ;  William  Bednell,  8d. ; 
John  Taylor,  2s.  4d. ;  Alder,  14d.;  Cathbert  Peddom,  9d. ;  John  Dawson, 
8d. ;  William  Taylor  84d. ;  Michaell  Temple,  8d. ;  Bichaid  Boderford,  S^d. ; 
John  Downes,  8^ ;  William  Herd,  7id. ;  Alder,  7d. ;  Alder,  8d. 

Burgages  situate  in  Market  Stede  (i.o.  Market  Place)  on  the  south  side  of  the 
foresaid  street,  beginning  at  the  east  side  and  passing  towards  the  west, 

William  Bednell,  one  burgage,  8d. ;  said  William,  8oL ;  Boger  Alder,  6)d. ; 
darkson,  6id. ;  Thomas  Qroene,  8d. ;  Ralph  Watson,  9d. ;  Thomas  Qieene, 
SfL ;  William  Gallon,  2s.  9^. ;  John  Slnie,  lOd. ;  John  Dawson,  8d. ;  John 
Atkinson,  lOd. ;  George  Dawson,  8d. ;  Thomas  Person,  lOd. ;  Howe,  widow, 
lOd. ;  Gkorge  Dawson,  7d. ;  Richard  Wardhangh,  8d. ;  William  Henryson, 
lid.;  Robson,  lid.;  Robert  Hatson,  lOd. ;  Arthur  Watson,  8d.;  Thomas 
Butyman,  8d.;  Anthony  Fawgus,  12d. ;  G^anaid,  2s.  6d.;  Robert  Barons, 
16d.;  Henry  Lynge,  8d. ;  John  Scott,  3s.;  JohnBrowi^  lOd.;  Robert  Lady- 
man,  2s.  6d. ;  George  Alder  holds  four  burgages  with  appurtenances,  &c., 
6s.  8id. 

Att  burgages  lying  on  the  west  side  of  the  said  street,  beginning  on  the  south  side 
and  passing  towards  the  north, 

Nicholas  Swanne  holds  three  burgages  with  appurtenances,  &c.,  3s.  2d. ; 
Edward  Howett  holds  one  burgage,  &c.,  20d. ;  Emota  Watson,  20d. ;  Ralph 
Clay,  2s.  5d. ;  George  Metcal^  14d. ;  Robert  Nysebet,  6]^. ;  William  Watson, 
eM, ;  John  Thorbrand,  13d. ;  Edward  lAbinson,  18d. ;  William  Stannars,  8d. ; 
Gfoorge  Watson,  8^. ;  Robert  Barnes,  8^. ;  Thomas  Howetson,  8}d. ;  Thomas 
Watson,  8d. ;  Lambe,  8d. ;  Robert  Barrows,  8d. ;  Thomas  Forster,  8d. ;  Thomas 
Taylor,  1 2d.;  Thomas  Craster,  12d.;  Jacob  Brown,  8d.;  Henry  Lyng,  4d. ; 
John  Scot,  4d. ;  Edward  Chelumpton,  8d. ;  Thomas  Lyng,  8d. ;  John  Lyshe- 
man,  6d. ;  Thomas  Greene,  4d. ;  Emota  Strudder,  4d. ;  the  ssid  Emota,  6d. 

All  burgages  lying  in  the  street  edUed  TenkeU  Street  on  the  west  side,  beginning  on 

the  south  side, 

John  Davison  holds  three  burgages,  &c.,  9d. ;  Peter  Elston,  one  burgage, 
6d. ;  John  Dawson,  8d.;  George  Watson,  lOd.;  William  Bri£;s,  14d.;  Edward 
HaU,  13d. ;  George  Metcalf,  16^. ;  Luke  Ogle,  38.  4d. ;  John  Clarke,  lOd. ; 
Edward  Stanners,  lOd. ;  Grene,  lOd. ;  Anthony  HaU,  12d. ;  John  Johnston, 
12d. ;  Edward  Naire,  12d. ;  Thomas  Story,  16d. ;  Robert  Moore,  6d. ;  Thomas 
Grey,  7d. ;  William  Rogers,  38.  8d. ;  Thomas  Watson,  8d. ;  Henry  Estwood, 
8d. ;  Clarke,  GJd. ;  Richard  Bell,  6M. ;  Richard  Holly,  14d. ;  Richard  Stan- 
ton, 6d. ;  Edward  Algood,  lOd. ;  Thomas  Harrett,  2s.  lOd. ;  Robert  Barwes, 
7d. ;  HoUy,  7d. ;  Ma^erelL  for  the  site  of  the  tower  called  "The  Tower," 
{this  was  JPbttergate  Towers)  Id. ;  George  Metcalf  holds  three  overthrown 
burgages,  2s. ;  Edward  Algood,  one  burgage  overthrown,  6d. ;  Thomas  Story, 
one  burgage  overthrown,  17id. 

AU  burgages  in  the  street  called  Barres  Dalef  on  the  north  side  of  the  street 
e^oresaidf  beginning  on  the  west  side  and  passing  toward  the  east, 

George  Metcalf  holds  three  burgages,  &c.,  3s.  2d. ;  Thomas  Story,  one  bur^ 
gafi;e,  12d. ;  Edward  Stannors,  12d. ;  William  Grey,  one  burgage  overthrown, 
12d. ;  George  Metcalf,  two  burgages,  14d. ;  John  Browne,  one  burgage,  7d. ; 
Gilbert  Sa^er,  7d. ;  Robert  Bullock,  3d. ;  John  Blaoke,  8d. ;  Thomas  Grey, 

*  These  burgages  were  in  Walkergate  and  Nanowgate. 
f  Pottergate. 

Digitized  by 



one  burgage  overtihrown,  8d. ;  John  Browne^  7cL ;  WilUam  Qxey,  8d. ;  said 
William,  7<L ;  Qeom  BobyoBon,  7d. ;  Thomas  Grey,  4d. ;  Pyrrao,  8d. ;  John 
Waller,  7d. ;  John  Stanton,  Bobert  Strother,  Olde,  and  John  Gibson  hold  one 
burgage,  20d. ;  Stamford,  one  bur^e,  IM. ;  Wytherolde,  2a. ;  John  Taylor, 
3s.  4d. ;  William  Grey,  Ss.  4d. ;  said  William  holds  one  piece  of  land  with  the 
said  burgage  adjacent  with  appurtenances,  lOd. ;  G^rge  Metcalf  holds  the 
site  of  a  lAkehouse  in  Alnwick  aforesaid,  Ss.  4d. ;  John  Helter  holds  one 
burgage,  12d. 

AU  burgages  with  their  appurtenances  in  the  street  called  the  Market  Place  from 
the  west  part  of  the  said  street,  beginning  at  the  south  side  and  passing  north, 
William  Bednell  holds  three  burgaees,  &c.,  28.  2d. ;  Margereta  Lighten, 
fbr  an  improvement,  held  as  above,  2a. ;  George  Levewicke,  one  burgage, 
9d. ;  Thomas  Shell,  8d. ;  Thompson  holds  one  tenement  called  the  Beer-housee 
with  appurtenances,  (now  the  Town  HaUy)  0%.  8d. ;  Margaret  Clarkson,  one 
burgage,  6d. ;  Leonani  Forster,  lOd. ;  Kobert  Grey,  8d. ;  Edward  Scott,  4d. ; 
the  said  Edward,  4d. ;  John  Garrard,  8d. ;  George  Metcalf,  8d. ;  WiUiam 
Bednall,  two  burgages,  4d. ;  John  Clark,  one  burgage,  6d. ;  John  Styte,  12d. ; 
Heirs  of  George  Davison,  two  burgages,  12d. ;  Thomas  Armorer,  one  burgage, 
8d. ;  John  Henryson  and  Edward  Anwyck  hold  one  burgage,  lOd. ;  Wmiam 
Pye,  12d. ;  John  Waller,  4d. ;  George  Alder,  16d. ;  William  Beadnell,  4d. ; 
Heirs  of  Thomas  Claxton,  8d. ;  Margaret  Claxon,  8d. ;  William  Beadnell, 
22d. ;  Thomas  Forster  for  one  tenement  in  the  Market  Place  and  a  certain 
stall  without  the  shop  to  the  same  tenement  appertaining,  Gs.  8d. ;  Heirs  of 
John  Hall  hold  one  stall  without  the  shop  lying  on  the  west  part  of  the  said 
stall,  4d. 
The  sum  of  the  rents  of  burgages  in  the  town  of  Alnwick  is  £12  17s.  7)d. 

Next  follow  the  Rents  of  the  Free  Tenants y  who,  excepting 
the  owner  of  Hobberla\%  which  was  held  by  military  service, 
had  their  properties  on  a  tenure  similar  to  that  of  the  bur- 
gages of  the  town;  probably,  however,  differing  in  this 
respect — that  while  the  possession  of  a  burgage  constituted 
a  burgess  and  admitted  to  the  privileges  of  the  corporation, 
these  free  tenancies  had  no  such  effect,  because  situated 
beyond  the  limits  of  the  borough. 

WiUiam  Taylor  holds  two  messuages  in  Bondgate,  and  one  messuage  in 
AiTogate,  and  forty  acres  of  lands,  meadows,  feedmgs,  and  pastures  in 
the  fields  of  Bondgate  aforesaid,  all  of  which  tiie  said  William  holds  freely 
of  the  lord  by  fidelity  and  suit  of  court,  and  renders  thence  yearly,  at 
the  feast  of  Pentecost  only,  9s. ;  Sir  John  Forster  holds  one  parcel  of  land 
called  Brokshawe*  bv  the  rent,  6b.  8d. ;  George  Metcalfe  holds  freely  one 
parcel  of  land  called  ^uyrrell  ?  containing  one  acre  and  a  half  in  Bondgate 
Fields,  &c.,  8d. ;  William  Bednell  holdlB  freelv  twenty-four  acres  of  land  in 
Bondgate,  &c.,  3s. ;  the  said  William  holds  forty  acres  of  land  lately  John 
Riggr  in  the  fields  of  Bondgate,  &c.,  19d. ;  the  same  William  holds  one  tene- 
ment sixteen  acres  of  land  in  Bondgate  Fields,  &c.,  19d. ;  the  said  William 
holds  two  acres  of  land  called  Swarrells  in  Bondgate,  &c.,  9d. ;  the  said  William 
holds  one  parcel  of  land  called  Bednell*s  Lands  containing  twenty-six  acres  in 
the  fields  of  Bondgate,  &c.,  28. ;  the  same  William  holds  ten  acres  of  land  in 
Bondgate,  &c.,  8d. ;  George  Alder  holds  one  tenement  called  Bondgate-hall, 
sixty-four  acres  of  land  in  Bondgate,  &c.,  9s.  6d. ;  the  said  G^rge  holds  one 
tenement  called  Hubberlaw  with  certain  lands,  meadows,  feedings,  pastures, 
and  woods,  containing  two  hundred  acres  of  land,  which  he  holds  by  military 

*  This  was  originally  abbey  land,  but  charged  with  a  reserved  rent 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


service  of  the  Berenth  part  of  one  knight's  fSoe,  and  rendering  jearly  4d. — 
(besidea  this  "  Byrtwell  or  TJberlow  "  paid  to  the  castle  of  Alnwick  for  castle 
ward,  23^  yeany) ;  the  said  (George  holds  a  parcel  of  land  called  the  Banks 
and  Wakes  &iowles  containinff  eight  acres  of  arable  lands,  &c.,  12d. ;  John 
Watson  holds  one  acre  of  land  in  Bondgate,  2d. ;  WiUiani  Bedndl,  Gborge 
Metcalf,  and  WOliam  Ghreene  hold  eighty  acres  of  arable  land  in  Greenj^eld, 
6s.  8d. ;  Henry  Swinhoe  holds  a  right  of  way  to  the  moor  of  "Rlling^^*^^  in 
Wliitehall,  Id. ;  Michael  Shafto  holds  one  toft  and  one  parcel  of  land  contain- 
ing three  roods  between  the  castle  and  the  water  of  the  Ayne  (Aln),  12d.  The 
burgesses  of  Alnwick  render  yearly  to  the  aforesaid  earl  for  common  liberty 
(right  ofcomffum)  upon  the  moor,  as  by  ancient  custom^  they  were  wont  from 
time  immemorial,  28.  ;*  the  tenants  of  Kanigate  {Camngate)  render  annually 
to  the  lord  for  chiminage  {right  of  way)  from  ancient  custom  beyond  the 
memory  of  man,  12d.  ;t  the  tenants  of  South  Charlton  similarly  render  yearly 
to  the  lord  for  chiminage  beyond  Kosley-brigg  as  from  ancient  custom,  4s. ; 
the  tenants  of  Shylbottell  render  to  the  lord  annually  6s.  lid.,  of  Eooke  (Soek) 
8d.,  Bennynffton  8d.,  and  Charleton  8d.  for  work  in  autumn,  which  they  were 
accustomed  for  antiquity  to  perform. 
The  sum  total  of  Uie  free  tenants  is  81s. 

Next  come  the  Rents  of  Tenants  at  Will  y  of  these  there 
are  two  classes — copyholders,  and  farmers  or  ordinary  ten- 
ants holding  for  a  term  of  years.     I  shall  first  give  the 

George  Metcalf  holds  by  copy  of  court  one  parcel  of  arable 
land,  called  Bamet-syde,  with  ClarkoUhughe,  and  a  parcel  of 
land  called  Delves  in  Bondgate  Fields,  .which  he  holds  according 
to  the  custom  of  the  honour  of  Cockermouth,  and  renders  thence 
annually  at  the  feasts  of  Martinmas  and  Pentecost  by  equal  pay- 
ments, 228. ;  the  same  George  holds  a  parcel  of  demesne  lands 
called  Halfiat  and  another  parcel  called  Angerflat  inclosed,  con- 
taining in  the  whole  thirty  acres  in  Bondgate,  all  which  he  holds 
as  above  and  renders  annually,  &c.,  30s. ;  William  Bridges  holds 
fifty  acres  of  land,  parcel  of  the  south  demesnes  lying  in  the 
fields  of  Bondgate,  &c.,  15s. ;  Margaret  Glarkson  holds  a  parcel 
of  land  in  the  East  Fields,  called  Knights-furlong,  in  Bondgate, 
ftc,  lOs. ;  Edward  Lad;yman  holds  one  tenement  with  a  croft 
and  one  husbandland  in  the  fields  of  Alnwick,  &c.,  31s.  6d. ; 
William  Lad}'man  holds  half  a  husbandland  and  fourteen  acres 
"  of  land  formerly  the  lands  of  Thomas  Mydleton,  &c.,  348.  4d. 
Nicholas  Chandler  holds  one  toft  and  one  husbandLland  in  Bond- 
gate  Fields,  &c.,  16s.  8d.;  Cuthbert  Anderson  J  holds  twenty-two 

*  The  entry  of  this  charge  in  a  baronial  book  called  '*  The  Red  Book  of  Aln- 
wick/' is,  in  1474,  as  follows  :-»'*  De  villata  de  Alnwyke  at  fest  Nat  S.  Johannia 
Bap.  pro  licencia  eundi  cum  averiis  aula  in  Haydeu  mense  Tetito  per  an.  ija." 

f  The  entry  of  this  charge  in  **  The  Red  Book  of  Alnwick  **  in  1474,  is—"  De 
tenentibus  de  Cannogaite,  pro  licencia  via  habcnda  a  retro  Cannogaite  solvend. 
ad  festa  Michaelia  in  fine  compoti,  xijd."     Hartshorn's  Antiq.  of  North.,  p.  157. 

I  Cuthbert  Anderson  in  1577  was  curate  of  Alnwick  ChapeL 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 


acres  of  land  in  fhe  fields  of  Bondgate,  &c.y  22s. ;  Oeorge  Browell 
holds  one  toft,  one  croft,  and  one  husbandland  in  Alnwick,  ftc., 
728. ;  William  Bednell  holds  sixteen  acres  of  land  called  Bljnd* 
well-flat,  &c.,  168. ;  the  same  WiUiam  holds  a  toft  with  a  croft 
beyond  ^e  tower,  in  the  street  of  Bondgate,  and  one  husbandland 
containing  twenty-two  acres  of  arable  land,  &c.,  22s. ;  William 
Bednell  holds  one  parcel  of  land  called  Wydropp,  5s. ;  George 
Browell  holds  one  parcel  of  land  called  Wydropp,  20d. ;  William 
Orey  holds  one  parcel  of  arable  land  and  meadow  called  Wydropp, 
68.  Ad. ;  John  Lynsey  holds  one  parcel  of  land  near  Hnl  Park 
called  Shipley-hauffh,  &c..  Ids.  4d. ;  Odnell  Seiby  holds  one 
parcel  of  land  called  the  Peth  containing  one  acre,  &c.,  I2d. ;  the 
tenants  of  South  Charlton  hold  half  of  the  pasture  called  Gliim- 
side  near  to  Hul  Park,  &c.,  208. ;  Sir  John  Forster  holds  the 
other  half  of  Ohimside  Pasture,  &c.,  20s. ;  Thomas  Dobson  holds 
one  tenement  and  one  husbandland  in  Sheldyk  {ShiMikes),  &c., 
8d. ;  John  Brown  holds  one  tenement  and  one  husbandland  in 
Sheldyk,  &c.,  8s. ;  Eobert  Dobson  and  Henry  Dobson  hold  two 
messuages  and  two  husbandlands  in  Sheldick,  ftc,  16s. ;  William 
Dunne  holds  one  tenement  and  twelve  acres  of  arable  land  and 
two  acres  of  meadow,  ftc,  16s. ;  Outhbert  Dickson  holds  one 
built  messuage,  with  all  other  lands,  meadows,  feedings,  and 
pasture  appurtenant,  under  the  name  of  one  messuage  and  one 
nusbandland,  &c.,  8s. ;  Hobert  Dickson  holds  one  messuage  and 
husbandland,  &c.,  8s. ;  Geoige  Taylor  holds  one  built  messuage 
and  husbandland,  &c.,  8s. ;  Soman  Stell  holds  one  tenement  and 
twelve  acres  of  arable  land  and  two  acres  of  meadow,  &c.,  8s. ; 
Thomas  Steele  holds  one  built  messuage  and  one  husbandland  in 
Sheldyk,  &c.,  88. ;  all  the  tenants  of  Sheldykes  hold  a  certain 
pasture,  called  Swynlees  firom  Harecrag,  containing  fifty-four 
acres  of  pasture  in  common,  by  their  animals  depasturmg,  accord- 
ing to  the  custom  of  the  honour  of  Cockermouth,  rendering 
yearly  &o.,  268.  8d. ;  G^rge  Metcalf  holds  one  dose  pasture, 
called  Greensfield  Saivghes  or  Sawghes  lying  in  OaUedgs  Park 
on  the  north,  and  a  place  called  the  Strodier  on  south  part  con- 
taining twenty  acres,  held  according  to  the  custom  oi  docker- 
mouth,  &c.,  138.  4d. 

The  following  in  the  manor  of  Bugley  are  held  according  to 
the  same  custom: — John  Stanton,  one  messuage  and  lands  under 
the  name  of  two  and  a  half  husbandlands,  rendering  yearly  ftc, 
17s.  6d.;  John  Stele,  the  same  as  above,  12s.  Sd.;  Bobert  Atlmison, 
half  a  husbandland,  8s.  9d. ;  G^r^e  Garrett,  two  husban<ilandsy 
17s.  6d. ;  Bichard  Brown,  two  husbandlands,  14s. ;  Bobert  Ben- 
atson,  two  husbandlands,  14s. ;  John  Stanton,  the  same,  14s. ; 
Thomas  Stele,  the  same,  14s. ;  John  Sleynes,  the  same,  1^. ;  all 
the  tenants  of  Bugley  hold  two  pastures,  one  of  which  is  called 
Bugley  Wood,  the  other  the  Hall  CHoso,  held  as  abovey  rendering 
yearly  43s.  4d. 

Digitized  by 



The  foUotoing  are  the   Copyholders  in  the  Manor  of 

Denwyke : — 
William  Qrey  holds  one  built  tenement  with  all  houses  built 
above  with  one  croft  and  all  arable  lands,  meadows,  feedings, 
and  pastures  pertaining  to  the  said  tenement,  all  of  whichhe 
holds  by  name  of  one  husbandland  and  a  half,  with  all  and 
singular  their  appurtenances,  at  the  will  of  the  Lord,  according 
to  me  custom  of  the  manor,  and  he  renders  thence  yearly  at  the 
feasts  of  Pentecost  and  Martinmas,  equally,  21s. ;  the  same 
William  holds  one.  built  tenement  and  half  a  husbandland,  as 
above,  14s.;  John  Bose  holds  one  messuage  with  croft  under 
the  name  of  one  cottage  and  husbandland,  as  above,  21s.  8d. ; 
Bichard  Gibson  holds  one  tenement  and  one  husbandland  and  a 
hal^  as  above,  21s. ;  Robert  Thewe  holds  one  tenement  and  one 
husbandland  and  a  half,  as  above,  21s. ;  John  Clerk  holds  one 
messuage  and  one  husbandland  and  a  half,  according  to  the 
custom  of  Cockermouth,  21s. ;  Thomas  Shephed,  the  same,  21s. ; 
John  Oybson  holds  one  husbandland  with  one  close,  as  above, 
20s. ;  John  Maxwell  holds  one  tenement  and  one  and  a  half 
husbandlands,  21s. ;  William  Thew,  the  same,  21s. ;  John  Thew, 
Ihe  same,  21s. ;  William  Bawden,  one  tenement  and  one  hus- 
bandland, 14s. ;  Edward  Bobynson,  one  built  tenement  and  one 
and  a  half  husbandlands,  2l8. ;  the  same  Edward,  one  husband- 
land, 14s. ;  John  Olerk  holds  a  built  tenement  with  seventeen 
acres  of  arable  land,  meadow,  and  pastures,  under  the  name  of 
one  tenement  and  one  husbandland,  14s. ;  William  Waller  holds 
one  cottage  and  one  selion  of  land  with  appurtenances,  8d. ; 
Edward  ]&:>bynson,  the  same,  8d. 

The  following  are  the  Tenants  at  Will,  who  appear  to 
have  been  farmers,  though  some  of  them  may  have  been 
copyholders : — 

Nicholas  Forster,  gentleman,  constable  of  the  castle  of  Alne- 
wyck,  holds  one  close  called  Castle  Close,  containing  thirty  acres 
of  land,  which  formerly  the  said  Nicholas  held  at  will,  and  ren- 
dered thence  yearly  at  the  feast  of  Michaelmas  only,  40s. ;  George 
Metcalf  holds  certain  enclosed  lands  called  the  North  Demesne, 
containing  forty  acres  of  land  with  appurtenances,  &c.,  rendering 
annually  at  Martinmas  and  Pentecost,  £4 ;  Engram  Salvid  holds 
thirty  acres  of  enclosed  land  called  the  West  Demesnes,  &c.,  30s. ; 
G^rge  Kydnell  holds  one  water  fulling-mill,  situate  on  ti^e  water 
of  Ayne  {Aln^  with  the  water  course,  which  mill  he  holds  for 
the  term  of  his  life  by  commission,  as  he  says  of  Thomas  Earl, 
and  renders  thence  yearly  20s. ;  William  BediielL  and  Jobji  Clerk 
hold  one  close  of  arable  land  called  Wyderopp,  in  Alnwick,  which 
they  hold  at  the  will  of  the  lord,  and  render  yearly  Ids.  4d* ;  Sir 
John  Forster  holds  one  built  tenement  called  Snepehouse  with 

Digitized  by 



all  other  lionses  buHt  thereon,  at  the  will  of  the  lord,  rendering 
yearly  40s. ;  t3ir  John  Forster  holds  the  herbage  and  pannage* 
of  the  whole  of  Holn  Park,  at  the  will  of  the  queen,  rendennc^ 
yearly  £6  Hs.  4d. ;  Sir  John  Forster  holds  the  herbage  and 
pannage  of  the  whole  of  the  West  Park  within  the  demesne  of 
Alnwi%,  containing  a  cirouit  of  six  miles,  at  the  will  of  the 
queen,  at  tiie  rent  of  £6  l4s.  4d. ;  Sir  John  Forster  holds  the 
herbage  and  pannage  of  the  whole  of  CaUedge  Park,  containing  a 
circuit  of  seven  miles,  at  the  will  of  the  queen,  at  the  rent  of  £12. 

The  House  lately  of  the  Brethren  of  Hulne  Parke. 

Thomas,  earl  of  Northumberland,  held  the  site  lately  the 
house  of.  the  brethren  of  Hulne  Parke  with  all  built  houses  of 
the  above,  gardens,  orchards,  and  three  closes  to  the  said  site 
appurtenant,  and  with  all  things  in  lands,  meadows,  feedings, 
pastures,  formerly  appurtenant  to  the  said  house,  and  with  pas- 
ture for  twenty  cows  and  two  bulls  depasturing  in  Hulne  fark 
of  iJie  said  earl,  all  of  which  were  lately  in  his  hands  and  occu- 
pation, 33s.  4d. 

Rents  of  divers  towns  for  certain  toUs  in  the  town  of 

The  inhabitants  of  the  underwritten  vills  render  annually  to 
tiie  Lady  the  Queen  for  foreign  toll,  viz.,  that  they  may  be  quit 
of  toU  within  the  fairs  and  markets  of  Alnewyck,  and  that  mey 
may  watch  according  to  the  custom  of  the  fairs  wi^  certain  men ; 
viz.,  the  towns  of  Aylneham  5s.,  Calmerton  2s.  6d.,  Fowberry 
2s.  6d.,  Hesselri^e  4s.,  Heworth  12d.,  TughaU  3s.  4d.,  Swynnow 
20d.,  Lesbury  2dd.,  and  Hetton  5s. ;  in  all  36s.  6d. 

We  learn  from  this  survey  that  some  cottages  within  the 
town  belonged  to  the  manor  of  Preston.  The  following  is 
the  entry : — 

Rents  of  the  tenants  in  Alnwick^  Parcel  of  the  Manor 
of  Preston. 

Gtoorg^  Metcaulf  holds  freely  his  cottages,  situate  within  the 
town  of  Alnwick,  to  hold  to  himself  and  his  neirs  freely  by  charter 
and  rendering  yearly  at  the  feast  aforesaid  4d.  This  apparent 
anomaly  arose  from  the  manor  of  Preston  belonging  to  the  abbot; 
for  there  is  entered  ''  In  rents  yearly  paid  to  our  Lady  the  Queen, 
as  of  her  manor  of  Preston,  late  parcel  of  the  priory  of  Alnewyk, 
408."  These  cottages  being  the  property  of  the  abbey,  and 
free  (in  frank  almoigne)  from  the  manor  of  Alnwick,  did  suit 
to  the  abbot  as  of  me  manor  of  Preston;  and  this  relation 
between  them  and  Preston  continued  after  the  dissolution  of 

*  The  right  of  feeding  swine  in  the  forest. 

Digitized  by 



monasteries;  bat  it  did  not  afiPect  the  quit  rent,  which  was  paid 
to  the  baron  of  Ahiwick.  These  cottars  stood  in  Nairowgate, 
on  the  east  side,  a  little  below  where  Fenkle  Street  joins  Nar- 

With  exception  of  the  families  of  Thew  and  Forster,  it  is 
questionable,  whether  a  single  descendant  in  the  male  line  of 
any  of  the  other  families  holding  property  in  the  parish  of 
Alnwick  in  1567,  is  now  living  tnere.  From  this  record  we 
find  that  there  were  263  burgages  in  Alnwick,  the  quit  rents 
of  which  amounted  to  £12  17s.  7|d.  yearly ;  besides,  there 
were  in  the  parish  16  freehold  estates  in  land,  and  52  copy- 
hold estates,  17  of  which  were  in  Alnwick,  17  in  Denwick, 
9  in  Shieldykes,  and  9  in  Rugley.  As,  however,  the  survey 
only  included  properties  which  yielded  rent  or  service  to 
the  baron,  there  were  several  other  freeholds,  not  yielding 
rent  or  service,  of  which  no  account  is  given.  None  for 
example  of  the  estates  carved  out  of  the  abbey  property. 
Only  one  burgage  in  Alnwick  then  belonged  to  the  baron, 
who  indeed  held  little  property  beyond  the  demesne  lands 
connected  with  the  castle,  portions  of  the  three  parks,  and 
lands  at  Shieldykes,  Snipe  House,  and  probably  Rugley. 
There  were  about  200  burgesses  in  the  town,  that  is  owners 
of  burgage  tenements ;  there  may  have  been  50  other  owners 
of  houses  in  Canongate,  Bailiffgate,  and  beyond  the  walls  of 
the  town ;  and  besides  these,  about  50  others,  owners  of  land 
yielding  no  service;  so  that  there  would  be  near  to  800 
persons  possessed  of  real  property  in  the  parish.  Next  the 
baron,  the  largest  land  owners  noticed  in  the  survey,  were 
George  Alder,  who  held  Hobberlaw,  containing  two  hundred 
acres,  Bondgate  Hall  with  eighty  acres  of  land,  and  nine 
burgages ;  George  Metcalfe,  who  was  possessed  of  eighteen 
burgages,  two  parcels  of  freeliold  land,  and  three  copyholds ; 
William  Grey,  who  had  eleven  burgages  and  one  copyhold ; 
and  William  Bednall,  who  had  six  burgages,  six  parcels  of 
freehold  lands,  and  three  copyholds. 

Quit  rents  were  riot  the  only  charges  on  property  ;  under 
the  feudal  system  few  tenancies  were  free  from  a  number  of 
vexatious  imposts.  Some  of  these  appear  in  the  surveys  of 
this  period.  As  lord  of  the  manor,  the  baron  claimed  free 
fishing,  fowling,  hunting,  and  hawking,  waifs  and  estrays, 
wreck  of  sea,  felons'  goods,  deodands,  and  other  peculiar 

When  Sir  John  Forster  was  warden  of  the  Marches  in  the 
reign  of  Elizabeth,  several  persons  were  tried  and  executed 

Digitized  by 



for  marcli  treason  ;  tbe  warden  first  seized  tbe  goods  of  the 
felons ;  but  afterwards  the  earl  of  Northumberland  claimed 
and  recovered  these  goods  as  his  own  right.  This  was  the 
case  also  with  the  goods  of  Nicholas  Beade,  of  a  felon  in 
Howick,  and  of  a  felon  in  Lucker. 

Castle  ward  and  comage  were  collected  by  the  foreign 
bailiff  of  the  barony ;  the  former  for  the  defence  of  the  castle 
as  the  head  of  the  barony  ;  and  the  latter,  called  also  geldum 
animalium^  noutgeld,  and  horngeld,  from  camUy  a  horn,  and 
geldariy  Anglo-Saxon,  to  pay,  was  a  payment  made  in  com- 
mutation of  a  return  of  cattle.  The  statement,  which  has 
been  frequently  made,  that  the  holder  by  comage  was  bound 
to  wind  a  horn  on  the  approach  of  an  enemy  is  erroneous. 
The  charge  was  peculiar  to  the  kingdom  of  Northumberland,  • 
and  originated  as  far  back  as  the  ninth  century.  When  the 
king  moved  from  one  royal  vill  to  another,  the  district  through 
which  he  travelled  provided  cattle  to  supply  his  table  j  it  was 
a  tax  of  homed  beasts  imposed  by  royalty  upon  property, 
which  in  the  course  of  time,  however,  was  commuted  into  a 
money  payment.  This  commutation  had  taken  place  at  an 
early  period  for  the  county  of  Northumberland;  for  we  find 
that  the  tax  for  the  whole  county  was  only  £20,  while  that 
for  Durham  was  £110  6s.  6d. — the  commutation  for  Durham 
having  taken  place  at  a  later  period,  when  money  had  lessened 
in  value.*  The  baron  of  Alnwick  paid  comage  for  the  whole 
barony;  and  collected  it  from  his  sub-feudatories,  making  a 
profit  out  of  the  transaction ;  but  the  amount  paid  in  1569 
was  the  same  as  that  of  former  periods.  Reserving  notices 
of  mills,  bakehouses,  brewhouses,  and  salt  for  another  part 
of  our  story,  I  would  refer  here  to  a  few  other  peculiar  feudal 

At  Bilton  we  find  all  the  tenants  paid  to  the  bailiff  of 
Lesbury  to  the  use  of  the  lord  in  respect  of  their  ploughs, 
called  Carrying  Silver ^  7s.  lOd. 

Some  copyholders  besides  these  quit  rents  paid  a  rent  hen; 
this  was  converted  into  money,  and  in  lieu  thereof  Id.  was 
paid  yearly.  In  some  parts,  as  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
•  Wooler,  such  copyholds  were  called  Hen  and  Capon  Copy- 
holds. Leases  of  lands,  which  by  some  unknown  process 
had  been  transmuted  from  copyholds  into  farmholds,  granted 
by  the  duke  of  Somerset  to  the  Wilkinsons  of  Buston,  reserved 

*  Mr.  J.  Hodgson  Hinde  baa  given  a  clear  exposition  of  the  subject  in  his 
History  of  Northumberland. 

Digitized  by 



payment  of  rent  hens ;  and  at  the  present  time,  some  of  the 
leases  on  the  Chillingham  Estate  have  a  condition  for  the 
payment  of  a  certain  sum  for  rent  hens  which  had  been 
paid  by  copyholds  before  they  had  been  absorbed  into  the 
lord's  estate.  In  the  records  of  the  baronial  courts,  there 
is  evidence  that  rent  hens  were  collected  in  1695 ;  for  on 
May  the  10th,  1695,  "  John  Waugh  presents  James  Grey,  of 
Lesbury,  for  a  rescue,  when  he  was  executinge  his  office  in 
collecting  the  rent  hens,"  and  he  was  amerced  Is.  This 
imposition  had  obviously  become  unpopular. 

One  burgage  in  Narrowgate,  Alnwick,  occupied  in  1709 
by  William  Boswell,  paid  as  yearly  rent  a  pepper-corn ;  and 
another  occupied  by  Mrs.  Elizabeth  Thompson,  paid  "a  Read 
Rose."  John  Doxforth  held  Doxford  by  a  quarter  of  a 
knight's  fee,  and  rendered  yearly  "  a  pair  of  gloves  and  in 
pennies  sixpence ;"  the  site  of  Pottergate  Tower  was  liable 
to  pay  4d.  or  a  snow-haU  at  Midsummer, 

As  at  this  point  we  lose  sight  of  the  copyholders  of  Alnvnck, 
I  shall  here  give  some  concluding  illustrations  of  this  class  of 
small  landed  proprietors,  who  formerly  were  a  numerous  and 
important  body.  In  the  barony  of  Alnwick  alone,  under  the 
mesne  lord,  besides  others  holding  under  the  sub-feudatories, 
there  were  800  copyholders,  viz.,  in  Alnwick  52,  Houghton 
47,  Lesbury  33,  Alnmouth  2,  BQton  17,  Tughall  11,  Newham 
15,  Lucker  7,  South  Charlton  19,  Fawdon  5,  Chatton  40, 
Rcnuington  16,  Shilbottle  26,  Guyzance  10.  Indeed,  almost 
every  village  in  the  county  was  more  or  less  peopled  by  men 
who  cultivated  their  own  land.  In  the  older  records  this 
tenure  was  designated  by  the  mediaeval  Latin  terms  hondagium 
and  cotagium ;  but  the  difference  between  them  seems  to 
have  been  only  in  the  extent  of  land  attached ;  each  had  its 
dwelling-house,  its  toft  and  croft,  its  parcel  of  cultivated 
ground,  and  its  right  of  pasturage  over  the  moor  or  common 
belonging  to  the  vill ;  the  bondagium,  however,  had  attached 
to  it  a  husbandland  of  land — a  variable  quantity — ^which  in 
Alnwick  seems  to  have  been  twenty-four  acres,  in  one  case 
only  seventeen  acres ;  but  in  Longhoughton  and  other  places 
thirty  acres ;  the  cotagium,  however,  had  annexed  to  it  only 
a  seiion  of  land — that  is  a  rigg,  a  quantity  varying  from 
about  half  an  acre  to  one  and  a  half  acres ;  at  Gateshead  it 
was  only  half  an  acre ;  but  at  Denwick  each  cotagium  had 
five  roods  of  land. 

Originally  both  bondmen  and  cotmen,  under  the  feudal 
system,  belonged  to  the  large  class  of  villans ;  who  were  so 

Digitized  by 



called,  probably  from  the  mil  in  which  they  usually  lived. 
Their  condition  was  at  first  servile ;  for  they  were  bound  to 
the  land  and  obliged  to  work  a  certain  number  of  days  on 
the  lord*s  demesne  in  ploughing,  reaping  and  other  agricul- 
tural labours,  as  a  payment  for  the  lands  which  they  them- 
selves held.  But  the  condition  of  the  villan— of  the  bondman 
and  cotman — gradually  improved ;  services  at  first  arbitrary 
and  oppressive,  became  fixed  and  regular,  both  as  to  quantity 
and  time ;  and  ultimately  they  were  commuted  into  a  money 
payment ;  the  villan  rose  to  the  dignity  of  a  free  man,  and 
common  law  recognised  his  title  to  his  land,  on  payment  of 
the  customary  rents  and  fines — and  thus  the  bondmen  and 
cotmen  were  converted  into  copyholders;  and  though,  as 
Coke  says,  of  mean  descent  yet  of  an  ancient  house.  This 
change  to  a  great  extent  had  taken  place  at  an  early  period 
with  the  bondmen  and  cotmen  of  Alnwick  and  of  the  barony; 
for  we  find  in  the  thirteenth  century,  instead  of  performing 
servile  work,  they  paid  money  rents  to  the  lord.  In  1567, 
the  tenants  of  Shilbottle  paid  6s.  lid.,  of  Rock  8d.,  of  Ren- 
nington  8d.,  of  Charlton  8d.  yearly  to  the  lord  for  work  in 
autumn,  which  they  were  accustomed  to  perform.  Fines, 
however,  were  payable  to  the  lord  on  the  alienation  or  sale 
of  a  copyhold,  or  on  its  transfer  to  an  heir.  There  is  an 
inrolment  of  copies  in  1586  among  the  records  of  the  baronial 
courts  in  Alnwick  Castle,  which  furnishes  information  as  to 
the  amount  of  these  fines.  Generally  they  were  from  two 
to  as  much  as  four  times  the  rental.  George  Beidnell  entered 
into  a  toft  and  croft  and  one  husbandland  in  Alnwick,  the 
rent  of  which  was  82s.,  and  paid  a  fine  of  £3  6s.  Od.  Michael 
Chandler  for  a  toft  and  croft  and  one  husbandland  in  Bond- 
gate  Fields,  the  rent  of  which  was  16s.  8d.,  paid  a  fine  of 
50s.  George  Metcalfe  for  a  parcel  of  demesne  land,  called 
Baruardsyd  with  Clark well-heugh,  and  one  parcel  of  arable 
called  Delves,  the  rent  of  which  was  32s.,  paid  a  fine  of  62s. 
A  few  feudal  impositions  on  copyholders  of  the  district  are 
traceable  down  to  1695 ;  they  still  continued  liable  to  carry 
thorns,  turves,  coals,  slates,  and  straw  to  Alnwick  Castle, 
and  millstones  to  the  mill  of  the  manor.  The  following 
extracts  from  the  baronial  court  records  are  illustrations  of 
these  feudal  burdens : — 

1652,  April  19.  Presentments  of  Bennington  9,  among  whom  was  John 
Falder,  of  Shilbottle,  "  who  have  neglected  to  bring  in  their  Turfes  to  the 
Castle ;  and  4  presented  "  that  hath  not  brought  in  Thorns  to  repaire  the 
hedges  of  the  Bemesne.'* 

Digitized  by 



1655.  Bobert  Embletcm  did  not  bring ooaLi  for  several  times;  and  Thomas 
Shepherd,  of  Denwicke,  did  not  bring  whins  to  Alnwick  Ca^e. 

1679.  ''Thomas  Fhilipson  presents  John  Lisle  for  not  performinge  his 
bondage  in  not  bringinge  in  Straw  to  Alnewicke  Castle ;"  and  he  is  amerced 

1680.  ''Cnthbert  Shell  not  doeing  his  dutye  in  leading  thomfis  to  the 
Closes  of  the  Castle,  which  bytheir  Custom  and  Service  is  due  the  Castle  f* 
Thomas  Sheapherd,  William  Thew,  John  Gromwell,  G^rge  Thompson,  John 
Shepherd,  Balph  Thew,  Edward  Ghurett,  Luke  Hunter,  Kolland  £obinson« 
Bichard  Robinson,  and  Cuthbert  Shepherd  were  presented  for  the  same; 
and  each  was  amerced  Is. 

1682.  ''  Thomas  Ladyman  presentes  Edwazd  Adams  fbr  refiiseing  to  Lead 
Millstones  to  Longhoughton  Mill ;''  and  he  is  amerced  Is. 

"Thomas  Ladyman  and  Arthur  Johnston  presents  G^igo  Sheepherd, 
WUliam  Peet,  Gk!orge  Kight,  and  John  Weddle  for  refiiseing  to  cart  flaggs 
for  the  said  Iionghoughton  Mill,  which  they  are  bound  to  doe  by  Bondage;" 
and  each  is  amerced  Is.  8d. 

Eight  Persons  of  Bilton  are  amerced  "  for  withdrawing  their  Service  to 
their  Lord  in  not  bringing  Coles  to  Alnwicke  Castle.'* 

''  We  order  that  noe  person  for  the  future  doe  withdraw  &eir  Service  £rom 
the  Lord  of  this  manner  upon  paine  of  39111 ;"  So  says  my  Lord's  Court 

Eighteen  peisons  of  Losbury  were  amerced  in  sums  from  Is.  8d.  to  3s.  4d. 
each,  *'  for  withdrawing  their  Service  from  the  Lord  of  the  Manner,  in  not 
leadmg  Slates  frx>m  Seaton  Carr  unto  Alnwick  Castle." 

1688.  "Fk^sented  for  withdrawing  their  Services  in  not  doexng  their 
bondage  to  the  Castle,  we  amerce  them ;  viz.,  The  Inhabitants  of  Denwicke, 
Bennington,  Longhoughton,  Losbury,  Bilton,  and  Shilbottle.    Noe  prove." 

"  We  present  Mr.  C^rge  BurreU  and  Edward  Adams,  of  Longhoughton, 
who  owes  Bondage  to  the  Castle  of  Alnwick  and  hath  not  done  it.  No 

Of  these  three  hundred  copyholds  not  one  now  exists.  We 
cannot  view,  without  regret,  the  total  extinction  of  this  body 
of  small  landed  proprietors  ;  they  were  an  important  part  of 
the  sturdy,  independent  yeomanry  of  old  England,  and  their 
loss  has  left  a  gap  in  our  social  system.  The  history  of  their 
extinction  has  not  been  written ;  perhaps  it  is  now  irreco- 
verable, though  there  are  traditions  of  the  unfair  means- 
chicanery,  misrepresentation,  threats — used  to  sweep  them 
away.  The  tendency,  however,  of  modern  times  has  been 
for  large  properties  to  absorb  the  smaller — to  mass  land  into 
a  few  hands.  Some  centuries  ago  there  were  260,000  land- 
owners in  England ;  now  there  are  only  30,000.  If  this 
Erocess  goes  on — dissevering  the  mass  of  the  people  from  the 
ind  on  which  they  live — ^revolutionising  as  it  were  the 
character- of  our  social  system — discontent  may  arise  and 
demands  be  made  for  sweeping  changes,  which  may  endanger 
the  constitution. 

Two  extracts  from  Hall's  Survey  will  give  most  interesting 
information,  not  only  as  to  the  nature  of  the  copyhold  tenure 
but  also  of  the  character  of  the  copyholders  themselves,  and 
of  the  condition  of  the  north  at  this  period.     It  will  be 

Digitized  by 



observed  that  the  '^  reasonable  use"  of  the  custom  of  the 
manor  of  Cockermouth  had  been  so  satisfectory  to  tenants, 
that  other  lords  of  manors  in  Cumberland  had  made  similar 
grants  to  their  tenants.  This  runs  counter  to  the  commonly 
received  opinion,  that  no  copyhold  tenures  could  be  created 
after  the  reign  of  Richard  I.,  the  time  of  legal  memory ;  but 
here  there  seem  to  have  been  copyholds  created  long  after  that 
period.  This  new  creation,  however,  does  not  apply  to  the 
Alnwick  copyholds,  which  were  in  existence  before  the  time 
of  legal  memory ;  and  the  phrase  used  in  reference  to  them 
merely  describes  the  tenure,  by  a  reference  to  a  previous 
description  under  Cockermouth,  and  is  not  indicative  of  its 

"  The  Barony  of  Alnwiok  aad  the  Ooimtrey  aboutes  ys  not  in 
all  places  so  wast  as  Gumbreland,  but  the  soil  somewhat  better 
and  the  people  more  gyven  to  tyllage  and  labour  then  in  the 
countrey  of  Cumberland,  and  yet  very  poore,  because  they  are 
liable  to  keep  up  greater  number  of  Oattell  of  any  kynde,  then 
may  lye  in  house  at  nyght,  because  yt  ys  so  nere  Scotland  of  one 
parte,  and  the  busshe  country  of  Tynedale  of  the  other  parte, 
whose  whole  lyfe  and  delyte  ys  onely  in  robbying  and  spoyling 
there  poore  neyghbours,  and  more  harme  is  done  to  the  poore 
Countreymen  by  the  Bydirs  of  Tynedale  then  by  the  open 
enemys  of  the  Scottes." 

*'  To  the  said  hous  belong  a  great  number  of  customary  tenants 
which  hold  their  lands  by  copy  of  suit  court,  to  them  and  to  their 
heirs,  doing  to  the  said  lord  fote  service  by  himself  and  all  his 
family  to  the  borders,  when  necessity  shall  require,  and  paying 
his  fine  at  the  lord's  will  after  the  death,  alienation,  or  exchange 
of  any  lord  and  tenant,  which  custom  hath  heretofore  been  of 
the  lords  of  that  house  so  reasonably  used  as  all  the  most  of  the 
customary  tenants  of  the  Earls  in  all  the  coimtries  of  Cumber- 
land, Northumberland,  York,  and  the  bishoprick  of  Durham, 
have  in  all  of  theim  ancient  grants  and  copies  to  hold  to  theim 
and  their  heirs,  according  to  &e  custom  of  those  of  Cockermouth, 
(the  like  grants  have  been  made  by  the  lords  of  manors  within 
the  county  of  Cumberland,  wherewith  the  tenants  thought  them- 
selves well  pleased  and  in  good  estate,  and  albeit  there  farmholds 
were  but  small  yet  the  commons  were  great  and  large.)  So  as 
the  tenants  were  well  able  to  live  and  maintain  themselves  and 
their  &mily  and  always  to  have  in  readiness  horse  and  such  arms 
as  the  country  re^uireth  for  the  service  of  the  prince  and  defence 
of  their  country,  till  now  of  late  years  the  greediness  of  the  lords 
hath  been  such  and  their  practices  so  horrible,  by  making  con- 
veyances and  devises  of  their  land  to  cause  the  poor  tenants  to 
make  fine  sometimes  once  or  twice  three  or  four  years  or  more, 

Digitized  by 



as  to  them  seemed  good,  as  the  poor  tenants  are  soe  raimsomed 
that  they  are  neither  able  to  lire  and  maintain  their  family,  as 
yet  to  have  horse  or  arms  to  serve  the  prince  and  maintain  the 
country,  so  as  that  custom,  which  heretofore  they  most  desired 
is  now  become  so  odious  unto  them,  as  they  are  not  able  to  endure 
it.  And  albeit  the  coimtry  consist  most  in  wast  groimd,  and  is 
veiy  cold,  hard,  and  barren  for  the  winter,  yet  it  is  very  popu- 
lous and  breedeth  taU  men  and  hard  of  nature,  whose  habitations 
are  most  in  the  yalleys  and  dales  where  every  man  hath  a  small 
portion  of  ground,  which  albeit  the  soil  be  hard  of  nature,  yet  by 
continual  travel  is  made  fertile  to  their  great  relief  and  comfor^ 
for  their  greatest  gain  consisteth  in  breeding  of  cattle,  which  are 
no  charge  to  them  in  the  summer,  by  reason  they  are  pastured 
and  fed  upon  the  mountains  and  wastes  where  they  have  suffi- 
cient pasture  all  the  year,  imless  great  snows  chance  in  the  winter 
to  cover  the  groimd,  for  remedy  whereof  they  are  driven  either 
to  sell  their  cattle  or  else  to  provide  for  winter  meat  for  them, 
and  because  the  greatest  part  of  the  country  consisteth  in  wast 
and  moimtains,  they  have  but  little  tillage  by  reason  whereof 
tiiey  live  hardly  and  at  ease,  which  maketh  them  tall  of  personage 
and  able  to  endure  hardness  when  necessity  requireth." 

The  following  will  of  J.  Bartram  Younger,  of  Alnwick, 
made  in  1647,  is  given  here  as  illustrative  of  the  period.  He 
had  been  a  Roman  Catholic  as  he  adopts  the  usual  prelim- 
inary form  prior  to  the  reformation.  The  sums  left  for  the 
maintenance  of  his  children  are  wonderAiUy  small. 

In  Dei  nomine  amen  vicesimo  die  mensiB  JuHi  anno  domini  1647°^o  J. 
Bartram  Yonger,  of  Alnwyk,  seak  in  body  but  hoU  of  remembrannce  do  maik 
my  testament  and  laste  wyll  in  manor  and  forme  folowyng :  Fyrst,  I  gyve 
my  Bowll  imto  Almyghtie  Qod,  our  blessed  Lady,  and  aU  the  hoHe  company 
of  heaven,  And  my  body  to  be  buried  in  the  Church  Yard  of  Saucte  MichaaU 
tV  archaun^g^ell  of  ALiwick  aforesaid,  -with  my  mortuaries  accustomed  and 
dew  to  be  given  to  the  Church,  And  I  gyv  unto  my  wyff  Alleson  for  the  use 
of  the  upbryngyng  of  my  Chylder,  8^  Shyllynges  and  Eight  pence.  To  be 
yerlie  rasavyd  and  persavyd  by  the  said  Alleson  my  wyff  or  her  assynez  of 
my  landes  and  tenementos,  sett,  lyeing,  and  beyng  within  the  town  and 
feyldes  of  North  Cherlton,  from  the  day  of  the  (udt  herof  unto  th'  end  and 
terme  of  fourteine  yeres  next  folowyng,  fully  to  be  completyd,  endytt,  and 
rone,  And  after  th*  end  of  the  sad  fouiteine  yeres  thane  tiie  said  vja  yiijd  to 
revert  unto  my  eldest  sone  William  Yonger  my  heir,  lawfully  begotten,  And 
after  his  death  the  samd  to  remayne  unto  th'  eldest  of  his  biwier  and  thane 
levying.  To  hold  to  hyme  durvng  his  lyff  naturall  and  after  their  decease 
lykwyse  to  the  rest  of  my  Chylaer  as  ther  ages  answeres  duryng  tiieir  lyffes 
fOter  the  death  of  one  to  ane  other  and  after  the  decesse  of  all  my  Chylder 
thane  I  wyll  the  same  to  revert  unto  my  nerast  heir.  Item,  I  gyve  to  my 
sone  Henry  Yonger  my  seat  howse  after  his  mother's  decesse.  It^  I  ^yye 
to  my  sone  Williame  fyve  yowes.  Item,  I  gyve  to  my  two  Chylder  Uiat  is  in 
Sowm  Country  to  aither  of  theime  two  sheyp  if  they  come  to  fetch  thetme. 
Item,  I  gyv  to  my  son  Q«orge  two  yowes.  The  resedew  of  my  goodes  I  gyve 
unto  my  said  wyff  AUesone  and  my  Chylder,  who  I  maik  my  executours,  they 
to  dispone  the  saime  to  the  welth  of  my  sowU  and  their  profeito,  wytnesses 

Digitized  by 



hereof  ib  Bjr  Robert  Fonter,  pazushe  preyst,  WiUiam  Glennel,  Johne  Taylzer, 
Nicholas  (^lanler,  Jhone  Skott,  Thomaa  Ladymane,  with  other  moo. 
This  be  th'  inventorie  of  all  my  goodos  moyable  and  imoyable. 
ImprimiB  tene  Sheype  xz* 
Item  an  Kow  x« 

Item  in  howshold  stuff  worthe  y}*  Tiij^ 
Dettes  that  I  ame  awen — 
Item  to  Thomas  Andersone  iiij*  Item  to  Jhone  Skott  ijB  iiijd 

(Memorandmn  of  Probate  before  the  Gommissaiy  of  Northmnberland,  21 
Jan.,  1647  [i.e.  1548  N.  S.].    Seal  of  office  destroyel) 

The  will  of  George  Harbottel,  of  Calleche  Park,  who  styles 
himself  gentilman,  made  in  1576,  shews  how  small  an  amount 
of  property  a  gentleman  might  possess.  He  bequeaths  his 
son  John  unto  the  earl  of  Northumberland,  ''  and  the  lodge 
and  office  to  hym  at  my  lord's  pleasure,  trustinge  that  he 
will  stand  good  lord  and  maister  unto  hym,  whereby  he 
may  the  better  bringe  upe  my  childer."  He  gives  to  Robert 
Harbottel  one  cow  and  calf;  and  then  follows 

"An  Inventory  of  all  the  ^oods  and  chattells  moyable  and  immoTeable  of 
ibis  testator  praysed  and  viewed,  the  xxidtlx  day  of  Febmaiy,  1676.  In 
primis  xri  head  of  nolte  of  yon^  and  elder  xyi^— xlljtie  ghepe  of  yongar  and 
elder  t1~^'  calves  xzB—come  in  the  yard  zlyj*  vujd-Hn  swyne  x*— summa 
zziiijl  TY}*  viij4  ."♦ 

James  Melville,  an  eminent  minister  in  the  church  of  Scot- 
land, in  his  autobiography  has  some  slight  notices  of  Alnwick 
in  the  latter  part  of  the  sixteenth  century.  On  the  2nd  of 
August,  1584,  he  visited  Alnwick ;  "  We  cam  that  night  '* 
says  he,  ^'  to  Anweik  and  ludget  in  the  house  of  a  widow, 
whose  son-in-law,  guidman  of  the  hous,  was  lyand  seek  of 
maney  deadlie  wounds,  giffen  him  be  the  Scottes  theives  on 
the  Bordar.  And  yet  we  receavat  never  an  evill  countenance 
of  them."  He  was  again  at  Alnwick  in  1585,  and  his  record 
of  the  visit  exhibits  the  character  of  Sir  John  Forster,  the 
lord  warden.  "  We  haid  occasion  "  says  he,  '*  divers  tymes 
to  sing  unto  the  praise  of  our  God  that  126  Psalme,  with 
manie  ma  (more),  but  namlie  at  our  coming  to  Anwik  on  the 
second  Sabathe  of  our  Journey,  (ISth  November.)  Ther  we 
rested,  and  war  called  to  dinner  be  Sir  Jhone  Fostar,  Lord 
Warden,  wha  at  mides  of  dinner,  began  bathe  to  glorifie  God 
in  recompting  what  he  haid  wrought  already,  and  to  pro- 
phesie  concerning  the  stay  of  foull  wather  and  of  pestilence. 
There  was  a  pestilence  that  somer  in  Edinburgh,  St.  An- 
drew's, Perth,  and  Dundee,  and  a  tempestuous  rainy  harvest, 
which  the  peiple  attributed  to  the  exile  of  the  ministers  and 

•  North  Country  Wills,  II.,  p.  408. 

Digitized  by 


274  HI8T0BT   OF   ALNWICK. 

noblemen  by  a  licentious  court;  wherefore  all  the  ministers  of 
God  war  brought  ham  againe^  as  indeed  it  was  marked  and 
found  within  a  monethe,  that  we  war  estonished  to  heir  the 
mouthe  of  a  warldlie  civill  man  sa  opened  to  speak  out  the 
woundarfuU  warkes  and  praises  of  God  wrought  for  us.  We 
war  in  companie  a  nine  or  ten  hours;  and  fand  him  the 
gratius  God  of  the  land  in  retouming,  as  we  fand  him  of  the 
sees  in  our  passage  southward.*** 

Of  all  the  natives  of  the  town,  William  de  Alnewyk, 
L.L.D.y  who  flourished  during  this  period,  was  one  of  the 
most  illustrious.  Prior  to  the  general  use  of  surnames,  some 
addition  was  usually  made  to  the  Christian  name,  derived 
from  a  personal  quality,  from  occupation  or  from  residence, 
to  distinguish  one  person  from  another.  The  most  important 
man  in  a  hamlet  or  vill,  when  signing  a  document,  would 
add  the  name  of  the  place ;  and  thus  some  John  or  William 
de  Alnewyk  would  originate  the  family  name.  In  1S68 
William  de  Alnwyk  was  controller  of  the  customs  of  Berwick, 
and  Thomas  de  Alnewyk  was  weigher  of  wool  there  in  1392. 
Alan  de  Alnwick,  a  goldsmith  of  York,  founded  and  endowed 
a  chantry  in  that  city  in  1483 ;  and  about  the  same  period, 
John  de  Alnewyk  was  paid  16d.  for  workiug  seven  days  at 
York  Minster.  As  we  have  seen,  a  family  of  Alnwick  was 
living  in  the  town  in  1474,  when  John  de  Alnewyk  was  a 
chaplain  in  the  chantry.  William  de  Alnewyk,  was  appointed 
by  Henry  V.  confessor  of  the  monastery  of  Sion  in  his  manor 
of  Isleworth,  which  now  belongs  to  the  duke  of  Northimiber- 
land.  In  1420,  he  was  prior  of  Wymondham  in  Norfolk, 
confessor  to  Henry  VI.,  archdeacon  of  Salisbury,  and  keeper 
of  the  Privy  Seal.  As  a  commissioner  to  adjust  differences 
on  the  borders  he  was  employed  in  1423  and  1425.  By 
Pope  Martin  he  was,  in  1426,  appointed  bishop  of  Norwich  ; 
and  while  there,  he  built  the  west  end  of  the  cathedral  and 
the  principal  entrance  to  the  Bishop's  Palace,  on  which  he 
placed  the  arms  of  his  family — Argent  a  cross  moline  sable, 
and  added  Orate  pro  anima  Domini  WiUielmi  Alnwyk.  On 
September  I9th,  1436,  he  was  translated  to  the  see  of  Lin- 
coln. He  died  on  December  5th,  1449,  and  was  buried 
in  the  cathedral.  His  own  arms,  with  those  of  the  sees  of 
Norwich  and  Lincoln,  are  placed  over  his  tomb,  along  with  an 
epitaph  in  Latin  verse.  In  his  will,  which  was  proved  at 
Lambeth  in  1449,  he  shews  a  regard  for  his  native  town ; 

*  MelviU«*B  Antobiognphy,  p.  227. 

Digitized  by 



besides  giving  ten  pounds  towards  walling  the  town  and  ten 
pounds  towards  the  fabric  of  the  church  of  Alnwick,  he 
bequeathed  to  the  parish  church,  for  the  priests  officiating, 
his  missal  the  third  in  value,  one  antiphonar,  one  bloody 
coloured  vestment  of  cloth,  having  lions  of  gold  interwoven, 
one  chesuble  dalmatic  and  tunic,  three  albs  and  three  copes 
of  the  same  set,  and  one  chalice.  To  Alnwick  Abbey  he 
bequeathed  for  the  high  altar  one  pair  of  small  vessels  of 
silver,  with  flowers  enamelled  on  the  base  and  with  a  pipe 
in  the  side  of  one  of  them,  and  also  one  hundred  shillings ; 
to  Holn  Abbey  he  gave  forty  shillings** 

•  Of  thi§  wiU  th$  Bev.  X.  JUine  hus  kindly  procured  fir  m$  tke following  extract^ 
fr<m  Mr,  8UM$^  tki  li^arimn  of  iMmieth  Falmee: — Item  lego  eceledse  parochiali 
de  Alnewyk  Danelmenau  diooesiM,  ad  ttsam  aaoerdotam  ibidem  oelebrantium,  et 
parochiuioram  ibidem,  tertium  meum  Miasftle  in  valoxe,  unum  Antiphooarium, 
unum  Yeatimentam  me«m  blodium  de  panno  auri  cum  leonibus  auri  intextia, 
«Dam  vis.  caealam  dalmatieam  tunicara  tree  albaa,  tree  eapaa  ejaadem  aectae,  et 
uQum  ealioem,  ad  diapoaitionem  meonim  exeoutorum.  Item  lego  abbati  et  con- 
▼entui  eanonicoTum  de  Alnewyk  unum  par  pelvium  peirarum  de  argeato  earn 
floribva  10  fuadis  ipeanim  anamellatia  et  fistala  in  Hniaa  lateve  dietamm  pelvium 
ad  Bummum  eoram  altare,  et  centum  aolidoa.  Item  lego  fratribaa  ibidem  Car- 
melitia  de  Holo  xia.  Item  lego  decern  librae  ad  mnratioriem  ejutdem  villae  de 
Alnewyk,  et  ad  fabiicam  eecleaiaB  ^nodem  x.  li. 


Digitized  by 






After  being  in  obscurity  twenty  years,  the  Percys  reappear 
as  busy  actors  in  national  events.  The  sixth  earl  died  with- 
out issue ;  and  the  children  of  his  brother  Thomas,  who  was 
attainted,  being  corrupt  in  blood,  could  not  succeed.  Thomas, 
nephew  of  the  last  earl  and  son  of  Thomas  Percy,  was,  like 
his  father,  a  Roman  Catholic ;  but  Mary,  the  queen,  being 
deeply  attached  to  the  Romish  faith,  looked  with  favour  on 
this  scion  of  the  Percy  family.  She,  therefore,  by  letters 
patent,  dated  30th  of  April,  1557,  created  him  a  baron  of 
Parliament,  by  title  of  Baron  Percy,  "in  consideration  of 
his  noble  descent,  constancy,  virtue,  and  valour  in  deeds  of 
arms,  and  other  shining  qualifications."  There  being  no 
mention  of  the  ancient  place  of  barony  in  the  patent,  this 

Digitized  by 



was  a  new  creation,  and  not  a  restoration  of  the  ancient 
house ;  and  it  could,  therefore,  claim  precedency  only  from 
the  date  of  the  patent.  But  on  the  following  day,  by  another 
patent,  the  queen  promoted  him  to  the  dignity  of  earl  of 
Northumberland  in  consideration  that  his  ancestors,  ab  anti- 
quo  de  tempore  in  temptis,  had  been  earls  of  Northumberland; 
and  this  has  been  considered  a  perfect  restitution  to  the  earl- 
dom. The  queen,  in  addition,  granted  to  him  all  the  lands 
which  had  belonged  to  his  ancestors,  then  in  her  possession. 
These  dignities  and  estates  were,  however,  bestowed  on  a 
qualified  tenure ;  for  the  succession  was  restricted  to  the 
male  heirs  of  his  own  body,  and  failing  them,  to  the  heirs 
male  of  his  brother  Henry.  So  that  in  fact,  in  the  event  of 
failure  of  these  heirs,  the  dignities  would  become  extinct,  and 
the  estates  would  escheat  to  the  sovereign.  When  Thomas 
Percy  was  created  baron,  there  was  a  stately  ceremony  in 
Whitehall;  eight  heralds  and  twelve  trumpeters  marched 
first  through  the  chamber  into  the  hall,  followed  by  the  earl 
of  Pembroke  and  Lord  Montague ;  and  after  them  came  the 
new  baron,  walking  between  the  earls  of  Arundel  and  Rut- 
land, attired  in  crimson  velvet,  with  a  hat  of  velvet  and  a 
coronet  of  gold  on  his  head. 

Soon  afterwards,  the  earl  appeared  on  the  scene  of  border 
strife,  where  of  old  his  ancestors  were  wont  to  display  their 
prowess.  Jointly  with  Lord  Wharton,  he  was  constituted 
warden  general  of  the  Marches  towards  Scotland,  and  captain 
of  the  town  and  castle  of  Berwick,  with  ample  powers,  and 
with  a  yearly  salary  as  warden  of  the  Middle  March  of  600 
marks,  as  warden  of  the  East  March  and  captain  of  Berwick 
of  700  marks,  with  other  allowances  for  his  deputies  and 

Elizabeth,  after  her  accession  to  the  English  throne  in 
1559,  endeavoured  by  energetic  measures  to  protect  the  bor- 
ders. She  appointed  the  earl  of  Northumberland  as  general 
warden.  A  formal  peace  was  concluded  between  the  two 
nations,  and  the  earl,  as  one  of  the  English  commissioners, 
signed  the  treaty  on  the  21st  of  May,  1559,  at  Upsetlington. 
French  influence,  however,  soon  led  to  the  renewal  of  hosti- 
lities. Intestine  commotions  in  Scotland  arising  out  of  the 
conflict  between  the  papal  and  reformed  faiths  weakened 
that  kingdom;  and  the  English  entered  into  a  treaty  with  the 
Scotch  reformers,  and  sent  m  their  support,  into  Scotland,  an 
army  of  six  thousand  foot  and  twelve  hundred  and  fifty  horse, 
under  the  command  Lord  Grey,  of  Wilton,  Sir  Henry  Percy 

Digitized  by 



being  general  of  the  light  horseman.  At  Leith  there  was  a 
fierce  and  long  skirmish,  in  which  young  Percy^  the  son  of 
Sir  Henry,  distinguished  himself  by  his  bravery.  Leith  was 
besieged  and  gallantly  defended;  but  before  it  could  be  taken, 
peace  was  concluded. 

For  some  years  after  this,  the  Percys  were  in  obscurity,  and 
probably  in  disgrace.  The  appointment  of  Earl  Grey,  who 
was  an  excellent  soldier,  to  the  important  office  of  warden 
gave  offence  to  the  earl  of  Northumberland ;  and  his  chagrin 
would  be  aggravated  by  the  appointment  of  the  duke  of 
Bedford^  in  1565,  as  lord  lieutenant  of  the  Northern  Counties. 
Being  a  Roman  Catholic^  he  might  not  look  with  affection 
on  the  vigorous  protestant  queen;  and  she  on  the  other  hand 
might  not  be  disposed  to  invest  him  with  official  power  in 
the  north,  where  the  reformed  religion  had  made  less  progress 
than  in  other  parts  of  the  kingdom.  Notwithstanding  his 
adherence  to  the  old  faith,  he  seized  and  retained  eight 
thousand  crowns,  which  had  been  sent  by  the  pope  to  help 
Mary,  queen  of  the  Scots,  in  her  difficulties ;  the  ship,  in 
which  it  was  conveyed,  having  been  driven  on  the  Northum- 
brian coast  adjoining  the  earl's  lands. 

His  dissatisfaction  with  the  government  assumed  a  treason- 
able form  in  1568,  when  he  busied  himself  with  intrigues  to 
dethrone  his  sovereign,  and  re-establish  the  Roman  Catholic 
religion.  Mary,  the  unfortunate  queen  of  the  Scots,  was 
now  a  prisoner  in  England ;  and  the  earl  was  a  party  to  the 
scheme  for  her  marriage  to  the  duke  of  Norfolk ;  but  this 
plot  was  thwarted  by  the  vigilance  of  Elizabeth.  The  earl, 
timid  and  vaccilating,  and  sensible  of  the  danger  which  hung 
over  him,  submitted  himself  to  the  earl  of  Suffolk,  the  presi- 
dent of  the  North,  and  besought  him  to  mediate  with  the 
queen.  Notwithstanding  this,  the  earl  continuing  to  hold 
treasonable  consultations  with  other  lords,  the  queen,  on  the 
14th  of  November,  1669,  issued  a  peremptory  order  com- 
manding him  to  appear  before  her  *  When  he  read  this 
order,  he  was  thrown  into  a  state  of  alarm  and  suspense. 
Camden  says,  "  between  the  softness  of  his  nature  and  the 
consciousness  of  his  guilt;  the  bigotry  of  his  persuasion,  and 
the  violence  of  his  resentment  for  a  conceived  wrong  done  to 
him,  in  relation  to  a  rich  copper  mine  found  upon  his  estate, 
by  virtue  of  the  queen's  right  to  royal  mines  ;  he  seemed  to 
labour  under  a  very  great  suspense^  whether  it  were  best  to 

•  Stow  Chron.,  p.  663. 

Digitized  by 



apply  to  her  Majesty,  or  to  seek  his  safety  by  flight,  or  turn 
rebel."*  His  friends  and  servants  were  ripe  for  rebellion ; 
and  knowing  his  cowardly  disposition,  they  adopted  means 
to  drive  him  into  decided  action.  At  midnight,  on  the  14th 
of  November,  1568,  when  he  was  at  Topcliffe,  they  aroused 
and  alarmed  him  with  the  cry — that  Oswald,  Ulstrop,  and 
Yaughan,  his  enemies,  were  ready  with  arms  and  men  to 
take  him  prisoner;  they  told  him  that  the  catholics  were 
ready  all  England  over  to  assert  their  religion,  and  that  the 
bells  were  rung  backward  in  almost  every  parish  to  encourage 
the  people  to  an  insurrection ;  and  they  also  caused  the  bells 
of  the  town  to  be  rung  backward.f  In  a  panic  of  fear  he 
arose  from  his  bed,  and  sought  refuge  in  a  lodge  in  his 
own  park;  and  on  the  following  night  joined  the  earl  of 
Westmoreland  at  Brancepath,  where  several  insurgents  were 
assembled.  These  earls  now  passed  the  rubicon  of  rebellion ; 
their  war  cry  was  religion,  and  they  issued  a  manifesto 
declaring,  that  they  took  up  arms  with  no  other  design  than 
to  restore  the  religion  of  their  ancestors ;  the  queen,  they 
said,  was  surrounded  ^'  by  divers  newe  set-up  nobles,  who 
not  onlie  go  aboute  to  overthrow  and  put  downe  the  ancient 
nobilitie  of  the  realme,  but  also  have  misused  the  queue's 
majestie's  own  personne,  and  also  have,  by  the  space  of 
twelve  yeares  nowe  past,  set  upp  and  mayntayned  a  new- 
found religion  and  heresie,  contrary  to  God's  word."  One 
great  object  the  rebels  had  in  view  was  to  liberate  Mary, 
queen  of  Scotland;  and  for  this  purpose,  the  countess  of 
Northumberland  endeavoured  to  gain  access  to  her  in  the 
guise  of  a  nurse,  and  by  exchanging  clothes  to  enable  her  to 
escape;  but  this  rather  common  place  stratagem  did  not 

The  rebels  on  the  16th  of  November,  appealing  to  the  old 
religious  sentiment  of  the  north,  unfurled  their  banners,  on 
some  of  which  the  five  wounds  of  Christ  were  portrayed,  and 
on  others  the  chalice.  An  old  man,  Richard  Norton,  bore 
in  front  a  cross  with  a  streamer.  They  marched  first  to 
Durham,  and  celebrated  mass  in  the  cathedral  and  destroyed 
English  bibles,  prayer  books,  and  the  communion  table.  The 
earl  went  to  Richmond,  then  to  Northallerton  and  Borough- 
bridge,  and  on  the  20th,  along  with  his  countess,  he  joined  the 
earl  of  Westmoreland  at  Ripon,  where  mass  was  celebrated. 

•  Camden's  Elis.,  II.,  p.  422. 
t  Stow  Chron.,  p.  668. 

Digitized  by 



They  next  advanced  to  CliflEbrd  Moor,  near  Wetherby,  where 
their  forces  were  numbered  and  found  to  amount  to  only  four 
thousand  foot  and  sixteen  hundred  horse* — a  power  quite 
inadequate  to  overthrow  an  established  throne.  The  small- 
ness  of  this  array  is  significant ;  for  a  larger  muster  might 
have  been  expected  in  the  northern  counties^  which  were 
still  the  stronghold  of  the  Roman  Catholic  party.  Sadler 
says — ^'  There  be  not  in  all  this  country  ten  gentlemen  that 
do  favour  and  allow  her  Majesty's  proceedings  in  tlie  cause 
of  religion ;  and  the  common  people  be  ignorant^  full  of 
superstition^  and  altogether  blinded  with  the  old  popish 
doctrine."  Feudal  attachments^  however,  were  breaking 
up ;  and  so  repeatedly  had  the  retainers  of  the  old  border 
chieftains  suffered  in  civil  strife,  that  the  battle  cries  of 
'*  Percy !  Percy !  Esperance ! "  had  ceased  to  find  a  response 
in  the  hearts  of  Northumbrians  generally.  On  this  occasion, 
only  four  score  or  a  hundied  horsemen  out  of  Northumber- 
land, gathered  around  the  Percy  banner.  Yet  there  seems 
to  have  been  a  considerable  number  of  the  disorderly  border 
men  ready  to  join  this  attempt,  for,  says  Sir  John  Forster 
writing  from  Bamburgh  on  the  25th  of  November — ^''the 
Earles  have  soe  practised  with  the  evil  men  of  England  and 
Scotland  to  break  the  borders  and  set  them  in  disorder,"  that 
he  distrusted  them. 

The  queen,  on  the  27th  of  November,  ordered  the  armorial 
ensigns  of  the  earl  of  Northumberland  to  be  removed  from 
his  stall  as  knight  of  the  Garter ;  "  that  all  other,  by  his 
example,  for  ever  more  hereafter,  beware  how  they  commit 
or  doe  the  lyke  cryme  or  fall  in  lyke  shame  and  rebuke." 

The  earl  had  warned  his  retainers  to  be  in  '^  defenceable 
array ;"  and  numbers  of  them,  garrisoned,  on  his  behalf,  the 
castles  of  Alnwick  and  Warkworth.  A  royal  proclamation 
was  in  consequence  issued  commanding  every  person  to 
depart  from  these  castles  immediately,  declaring  those  to 
be  traitors  who  served  the  earl  or  remained  in  them.  Those 
holding  Alnwick  Castle,  on  being  summoned  by  Sir  John 
Forster,  the  warden  of  the  Middle  Marches,  refiised  to  deliver 
it  up ;  he  therefore  marched  through  the  town  to  the  Market 
Place,  and  there  repeated  the  proclamation,  and  commanded 
all  the  earl's  tenants  to  repair  to  their  own  houses.  After 
this,  with  increased  forces,  he  returned  to  the  castle;  and  the 
garrison  having  no  hope  of  succour,  yielded  to  the  warden 

•  Stuw  ChroD.y  p.  663. 

Digitized  by 



and  saved  their  lives.    Warkworth  in  like  manner  surren- 
dered ;  and  both  fortresses  were  garrisoned  by  loyal  men.* 

By  guarding  the  passes  of  the  country,  the  vigilant  warden 
prevented  several  of  the  earl's  dependents  from  joining  the 
insurrection.  Dispirited  bv  want  of  adequate  support,  the 
insurgents  proceeded  no  mrther  southward  than  Clifford 
Moor ;  and  turning  back,  they  assaulted  Barnard  Castle  and 
Hartlepool,  both  of  which  surrendered.  But  these  were  their 
last  successful  achievements.  They  hoped  to  have  had  help 
from  the  duke  of  Alva,  with  whom  they  had  been  in  treason- 
able correspondence ;  but  none  came ;  a  strong  royal  army 
was  on  the  way  to  attack  them;  and  money  too  was  wanting 
to  maintain  their  own  troops ;  for  the  two  leaders  had  in- 
dulged a  magnificent  hospitality,  apd  had  little  money  in 
their  possession ;  the  earl  of  Northumberland  had  brought 
with  him  only  eight  thousand  crowns,  and  the  earl  of  West- 
moreland scarce  any  mone^  at  all.  Sir  John  Forster,  the 
warden,  who  was  accompamed  by  Sir  Henry  Percy,  had  on 
the  7th  of  December,  '^  a  great  skirmish  with  the  earl  of 
Northumberland."  After  this,  most  of  the  rebel  army  slunk 
away ;  but  the  earl  of  Northumberland  kept  the  field  till  the 
18th  of  December,  when  the  approach  of  the  royal  army, 
under  Earl  Surrey,  compelled  him,  with  an  escort  of  five 
hundred  horsemen,  to  seek  safety  among  the  wild  borderers 
in  Liddesdale.  "  What  a  fond  and  foolish  ende"  says  Sir 
John  Forster,  '^  these  rebells  have  made  of  their  traitorous 

In  one  of  the  finest  of  the  border  ballads,  the  minstrel 
indulges  in  poetic  fancies,  and  presents  the  weak,  spiritless 
leader  as  somewhat  of  a  hero. 

''  Earl  Percy  is  into  his  garden  ^ne 

And  after  him  walkes  his  fietire  ladie, 
I  heard  a  bird  sing  in  mine  yeare 

That  I  must  either  fisht  or  flee. 
Then  rose  that  reverend  gentleman  (EranciB  Norton), 

And  with  him  came  a  goodly  band, 
To  join  the  brave  Earl  Percy 

And  all  the  flower  of  Northumberland. 
Earle  Percy  there  his  ancyent  spred 

The  Halfe-moone  shining  all  so  fiEkire, 
The  Nortons  ancyent  had  me  Orosse 

And  the  five  woimds  our  Lord  did  beare. 

•  Hollinihead— Sfaarpe's  Memorials  of  the  Rebellioo. 


Digitized  by 



Now  spread  tiiy  ancyent  Westmoreland 

The  dun  bull  faine  would  we  spye. 
And  thou  the  Erie  of  Northumberland 

Now  rayse  thy  half  moone  up  on  hye. 
But  the  dun  buUe  is  fled  and  gone 

And  the  halfe  moone  vanished  away. 
And  the  Erles,  though  they  were  braye  and  bold. 

Against  soe  many  could  not  -stay." 

The  accounts  of  the  earPs  capture  are  somewhat  different. 
One  statement  is  that  he  skulked  in  some  poor  cottages  at 
Harelaw  among  the  Grahams^  who  were  notorious  robbers  ; 
and  that  one  of  them.  Hector  Grraham,  for  a  bribe,  delivered 
him  to  the  earl  of  Murray ;  for  this  inhospitable  deed,  the 
fierce  borderers,  who  respect  their  own  laws  of  honour>  wished 
to  have  Hector's  head  that  they  might  eat  it  among  them  for 
supper.  Dr.  Percy's  account,  gathered  from  border  songs,  is 
a  little  more  romantic.  When  the  earl  reached  the  borders, 
he  was  seiaed,  stripped,  and  maltreated  by  thieves  ;  but  at 
length  he  found  an  asyluin  in  the  house  of  Hector  of  Harelaw, 
an  Armstrong,  who,  under  considerable  obligations  to  him, 
had  pledged  his  honour  to  be  true.  Hector,  like  a  fEuthless 
wretch,  betrayed,  for  a  sum  of  money,  his  noble  guest, 
in  January,  1670,  to  James  Stewart,  the  earl  of  Murray. 
Retribution  followed  this  treachery ;  Hector,  before  this,  was 
rich,  but  soon  afterwards  he  sunk  into  poverty;  and  his 
infamous  conduct  gave  origin  to  a  proverb— To  take  Hector* 9 
Cloak,  is  applied  to  the  man  who  betrays  his  friend.  The 
earl  was  imprisoned  by  Murray  in  the  castle  of  Lochleven. 

For  this  rebellion,  the  earl  of  Northumberland  and  his 
countess  were  attainted  of  high  treason  and  outlawed,  along 
with  fifty-five  other  noblemen.  These  were  days  when 
human  life  was  little  valued,  and  when  hanging  and  decapita- 
tion were  the  sovereign  remedies  for  constitutional  diseases. 
A  fierce  and  bloody  vengeance  fell  on  the  insur8;ents.  Those 
who  possessed  property  were  honoured  with  a  trial,  that  their 
estates  might  be  confiscated;  but  the  poorer  classes  were 
hung  without  trial  and  without  mercy.  Sir  George  Bowes 
boasted  that  for  sixty  miles  in  length  and  fifty  in  breadth, 
between  Newcastle  and  Wetherby,  there  was  scarcely  a  town 
wherein  some  of  the  inhabitants  were  not  hung  as  a  warning 
to  the  rest ;  sixty-three  constables  were  hung  in  the  city  of 
Durham.  "  I  guess"  says  Cecil,  ''it  will  not  be  under  six 
or  seven  hundred  of  the  common  sort  that  shall  not  be 

Digitized  by 



executed,  besides  the  prisoners  taken  in  the  field/*    Surely 
the  good  times  of  Queen  Bess  are  little  better  than  a  myth. 

Sir  Henry  Percy,  on  June  7th,  1670,  by  letter,  interceded 
with  Sir  William  Cecil  on  behalf  of  his  brother;  he  desired 
to  have  his  counsel  as  to  the  mode  of  proceeding  with  his 
brother,  who  is  very  penitent,  and  his  wife  in  great  distress ; 
and  he  hopes  that  certain,  of  his  lands  will  not  be  granted 
away.  In  another  to  his  brother,  he  reproached  him  with 
his  proceedings  in  the  late  rebellion,  and  urges  him  to  seek 
the  queen's  mercy  and  to  think  on  the  misery  and  desolation 
he  has  occasioned.* 

The  countess  of  Northumberland  suffered  severely  in  the 
rebellion.  **  On  the  same  day,"  the  22nd  of  December, 
writes  the  earl  of  Sussex  to  Cecil,  ^^the  Idddesdale  men  stole 
my  lady  of  Northumberland's  h(»se  and  her  two  women's 
horses,  and  ten  other  horses;  so  as  when  the  earU  went 
away,  they  left  her,  and  all  the  rest  that  lost  their  horses,  on 
foot,  at  John  of  Syde's  house — ^a  cottage  not  to  be  compared 
to  any  dog  kennel  in  England.  Such  is  their  present  misery; 
and  at  their  departing  from  her,  there  were  not  fifty  horse ; 
and  my  lord  of  Westmoreland  changed  his  coat  of  plate  and 
sword  with  John  of  the  Syde  to  be  more  unbeknown."  She 
sought  refuge  in  Scotland  with  the  laird  of  Feruihurst,  who 
took  her  to  Hume  Castle;  she  met,  however,  with  sorry 
treatment  from  the  Scots,  "  being  miserably  entreated,  and 
forced  for  her  surety  to  remove  from  friend  to  friend  without 
rest  fearing  ever  to  be  spoiled  by  those  barbarous  people." 
For  very  penury,  she  was  obliged  to  retire  from  Scotland 
and  seek  refuge  in  France. 

The  earl  continued  a  prisoner  in  Lochleven  Castle  till 
July,  1572,  when,  for  a  large  bribe,  he  was  ungenerously 

S'ven  up  to  Lord  Hunsdon,  governor  of  Berwick,  by  James 
ouglas,  earl  of  Morton,  who,  six  years  before  when  an  exile 
in  England,  was  indebted  to  the  bounty  and  friendship  of 
the  earl  of  Northumberland.     The  northern  minstrel  sings — 

**  When  the  regent  was  a  banisht  man 
With  me  he  did  faire  welcome  find. 
And  whether  weal  or  woe  betide 

I  still  shall  find  him  true  and  kind." 

He  was  conveyed  to  York,  and  on  the  22nd  of  August  was 
beheaded  as  a  traitor.    Before  he  suffered,  he  avowed  his 

•  CaL  State  PapeiB,  LXXL,  p.  SSI. 

Digitized  by  VjOOQIC 



belief  in  the  pope's  supremacy^  and  affirmed  that  the  realm 
was  in  a  state  of  schism,  and  that  those  obedient  to  Elizabeth 
were  no  better  than  heretics.  He  was  buried  at  St.  Cnix, 
York.   ^ 

By  his  wife^  Anne,  third  daughter  of  Henry  Somerset,  earl 
of  Worcester,  he  had  one  son  only,  who  died  when  young, 
and  five  daughters,  one  of  whom,  Mary,  was  married  to  Sir 
Thomas  Grey,  of  Wark. 

He  was  a  weak  minded  man,  and  bore  the  sobriquet  of 
**  Thomas  the  Simple ;"  but  in  the  northern  ballads  descrip- 
tive of  the  rising  of  the  north,  he  is  designated  "The  Moon," 
in  allusion  to  the  Percy  badge  of  the  crescent. 

Arms. — Qtuirterly  of  Six. — I.,  Percy  and  Lucy  quarterly. 
II.,  Old  Percy,  III.,  Poynings.  IV.,  Fitz-Payne. 
v.,  Bryan.  YI.,  Quarterly.  I.  ThreehotUes?  bottes? 
(bats),  or  icicles.  2.  Three  escollops,  two  and  one.  3. 
Three  ewers,  two  and  one.  4.  Three  water  bongets,  two 
and  one. 

Bapoes. — A  crescent.      A  locket  within  the  horns  of  a 

Motto. — Esperance  en  Dieu. 

Digitized  by 




Thomas,  the  seventh  earl,  dying  without  male  issue,  his 
titles  and  estates  descended  to  his  brother  Henry,  by  virtue 
of  the  entail  made  in  the  reign  of  Queen  Mary.  Long  before 
his  accession  to  the  barony  of  Alnwick,  he  had,  as  we  have 
seen,  greatly  distinguished  himself  in  border  warfare  by  his 
vigilance  and  courage.  When  his  brother  was  in  rebellion, 
Henry  was  zealous  and  active  in  the  queen's  service,  and 
aided  Sir  John  Forster,  the  warden,  in  extinguishing  the 
insurrection.  In  a  letter  to  him,  the  queen  expressed  her 
gladness  for  his  loyalty  and  assured  him  that,  as  a  reward  of 
his  fidelity,  she  would  have  a  due  regard  to  the  continuation 
of  his  house  in  his  person  and  blood.  He  was,  in  1575, 
summoned  to  parliament  as  earl  of  Northumberland;  and 
was  also  made  a  knight  of  the  Garter. 

He  had  in  1560  conformed  to  the  Protestant  religion ;  for 
in  that  year,  he  was  one  of  those  commissioners,  who  in 
confidence  of  their  approved  piety,  wisdom,  prudence,  and 
care,  were  appointed  to  administer  the  oath  authorised  by 
parliament  to  the  ecclesiastics  throughout  the  kingdom.  He 
must,  however,  have  had  a  secret  attachment  to  the  old  faith; 
for  he  soon  afterwards  became  an  object  of  suspicion  to  the 
government.  His  movements  were  watched,  and  so  harshly 
was  he  treated,  that  from  about  the  year  1575  he  was  not 
allowed,  being  a  suspected  person,  to  go  far  from  the  environs 
of  London.  This  was  a  period  of  plots  and  intrigues; 
the  adherents  of  popery  were  always  on  the  alert,  by  their 
emissaries,  to  stir  up  rebellion,  and,  doubtless,  it  was  the 
duty  of  the  government  to  be  wary  and  vigilant ;  but  un- 
worthy means  were  used  to  trap  people ;  counterfeit  letters 
were  privately  sent  in  the  name  of  the  queen  of  the  Scots, 
and  spies  were  employed  to  listen  to  people's  discourses  and 
to  report  even  idle  talk.  Through  such  contemptible  artifices 
the  earl  of  Northumberland  was  inculpated ;  and  in  1584  he 
was  arrested  and  committed  prisoner  to  the  tower,  charged 
vrith  having  secretly  plotted  with  Throckmorton,  Lord  Paget, 
and  the  Guises,  for  the  invasion  of  England  and  the  liberation 
of  Mary,  queen  of  the  Scots.  "  He  was  one  of  those  stars" 
says  Sir  Walter  Scott,  "  who  shot  madly  from  their  spheres 
in  the  cause  of  Mary." 

The  charge  rested  chiefly  on  some  confession  made  by 
William  Shelly,  who  was  a  friend  of  the  earl  and  an  accom- 
plice of  Throckmorton ;  but  the  evidence  of  guilt  must  not 

Digitized  by 



have  been  convincing^  since  the  earl,  though  kept  in  prison 
for  about  a  year,  was  never  brought  to  trial.  Probably  enough, 
he  had  committed  himself  to  some  of  the  plots  that  were 
concocted  for  the  deliverance  of  Mary ;  but  the  severity  with 
which  Roman  Catholics  were  treated,  tended  to  breed  rebel- 
lion/ "The  conduct  of  the  government  towards  the  catholics'* 
says  a  judicious  historian,  "  somewhat  resembled  the  brutal 
pranks  of  a  set  of  boys  who  drive  and  torment  a  dog  until  he 
IS  mad,  and  then  shoot  him  for  being  dangerous." 

The  cause  of  his  death  is  involved  in  mystery.  After  being 
about  a  year  in  the  tower,  his  ordinarv  keeper  was  removed, 
and  replaced  by  Bailiff,  a  servant  of  Sir  Christopher  Hatton; 
and  on  the  next  morning,  the  21st  of  June,  1585,  he  was 
found  dead  in  his  bed,  "  shot  with  three  bullets  near  the 
left  pap,"  his  chamber  door  being  bolted  on  the  inside.  An 
inquest  was  held  and  the  Jury  ^'considered  the  place,  found 
the  pistol  and  gunpowder  in  the  chamber,  and  examining  his 
man  that  bought  the  pistol  and  him  that  sold  it,  gave  their 
verdict  that  he  had  killed  himself."  His  death  appears  to 
have  created  a  sensation  and  even  alarmed  the  government ; 
for,  three  days  afterwards,  there  was  a  ftiU  meeting  of  the 
peers  of  the  realm  in  the  Star  Chamber,  when  the  lord  chan- 
cellor affirmed  that  the  earl  had  laid  violent  hands  on  himself, 
being  terrified  with  the  guilty  consciousness  of  his  offence ; 
and  to  satisfy  the  multitude,  who  are  always  prone,  the 
chancellor  said,  to  believe  the  worst,  the  attorney  and  the 
solidtQir-general  explained  to  the  peers  the  reasons  why  the 
earl  had  been  kept  in  prison  and  the  manner  of  his  death. 
Grave  suspicions  were  entertained  by  the  Roman  Catholics, 
that  Hatton  had  been  instrumental  in  assassinating  the  earl ; 
and  a  modem  writer  says  ''  the  whole  transaction  bears  many 
marks  of  a  government  prison  murder ;"  but  to  support  this 
conclusion,  there  is  little  else  than  the  time  of  death  coincid- 
ing with  the  change  of  keeper,  while,  on  the  other  hand,  it 
is  difficult  to  find  a  sufficient  reason  to  induce  the  government 
to  commit  so  great  a  crime ;  the  earl  was  far  from  being  a 
formidable  personage,  while  the  ministers  of  Elizabeth  were 
able  and  wise,  and  not  likely  to  perpetrate  deeds,  at  once 
marked  by  folly  and  guilt.  To  save  his  estates  from  forfeiture 
and  his  family  from  ruin,  might  have  induced  the  earl  to  end 
his  own  life.  Camden  says  *'  many  good  men  were  much 
affected  that  so  great  a  person  died  so  miserable  and  lament- 
able a  death ;  as  well  because  men  naturally  favour  nobility, 
as  that  he  had  acquired  singular   commendation   for  his 

Digitized  by 


HENRY,   NINTH    EARL.  287 

valour.      He  was  a  man  of  a  lively  and  active  spirit  and 

He  married  Catherine,  eldest  daughter  and  co-heir  of 
John  Neville  Lord  Latimer,  and  through  her  the  manoi: 
of  Burton-Latimer  came  into  the  Percy  family.  They 
had  eight  sons  and  three  daughters — Henry,  who  succeeded 
him ;  Thomas,  who  died  unmarried  in  1587 ;  William,  who 
died  unmarried  in  1648;  Sir  Charles,  who  died  without  issue 
in  1628 ;  Sir  Richard,  who  died  unmarried  in  Angiers ;  Sir 
Alan,  who  died  without  issue  in  1613 ;  Sir  Josceline,  who 
died  unmarried ;  and  George,  who  died  unmarried  in  16SZ 
in  the  Low  Countries. 


Henry  the  ninth  earl,  one  of  the  most  singular  characters 
of  his  age,  must  now  appear  on  the  stage  of  our  history. 
He  was  born  in  April  1564,  and  had  just  attained  his 
majority,  when  in  1585  he  succeeded  to  the  honours  and 
estates  of  his  father.  He  soon  afterwards  joined  the  army  sent 
from  England,  under  Robert  Dudley,  earl  of  Leicester,  to  aid 
the  Netherlands  against  the  Spaniards.  At  a  later  period  in 
1588,  when  England  rose  in  her  might  to  drive  from  her  shores 
and  to  destroy  the  "  Invincible  Axmada "  of  Spain,  he  was 
one  of  "  the  English  gentry  of  the  younger  sort  who  entered 
themselves  volimteers,  and  taking  leave  of  their  parents, 
wives  and  children,  did,  with  incredible  cheerfulness  hire 
ships  at  their  own  charge,  and  in  pure  love  to  their  coimtry 
joined  the  grand  fleet  in  vast  numbers.'^f 

Notwithstanding  these  early  indications  of  patriotic  hero- 
ism, he  appears  to  have  fallen  into  expensive  and. dissipated 
habits.  Coming  into  a  splendid  inheritance  at  an  early  age, 
he  was,  it  is  said,  surrounded  with  parasites,  who  nursed  his 
follies, and  led  him  into  extravagances.  His  marriage  in  1594 
with  Dorothy,  daughter  of  Walter  Devereux,  earl  of  Essex, 
and  widow  of  Sir  Thomas  Perrot  was  unfortunate ;  for  their 
tempers  were  incompatible;  and,  although  she  had  borne 
him  children,  he  separated  from  her.  She  lived  at  Sion 
House,  sad  and  melancholy,  though  at  times  playing  with 
her  child.  Towards  women  he  seems  indeed  to  have  had  no 
chivalrous  feeling ;  for  after  assaulting  "  a  worthy  and  virtu- 
ous gentlewoman,  he  circulated  infamous  verses  to  defame 
her  character." 

»  Camden,  IL,  p.  i»04.  ^  t  Camdeo,  II.,  p.  547. 

Digitized  by 


288       -  HISTORY   OF   ALKWICK. 

In  1601  he  attempted  to  drag  into  a  quarrel  Sir  Francis 
Yere^  an  honourable  and  distinguished  soldier^  who  was 
commander-general  of  all  the  forces  engaged  in  the  defence 
of  Ostendy  when  it  was  besieged  by  the  Spaniards.  Though 
serving  under  Vere,  he  accused  his  general  of  "  wanting 
in  respect  to  him  and  countenancing  reports  to  his  dis- 
advantage." For  these  supposed  wrongs  he  sent,  on  their 
return  to  England^  a  challenge  to  Yere,  and  refused  to 
receive  a  letter  in  reply.  He  even  threatened  Yere*s  friend 
with  his  sword^  if  he  attempted  to  leave  the  letter  with  him. 
What  these  reports  were  of  which  the  earl  complained  we 
are  not  informed ;  but  in  Yere's  reply  he  offered  to  clear  him- 
self of  having  given  any  cause  of  offence^  and  stated  that  he 
despised  private  combating,  especially  as  he  was  engaged  in 
a  great  and  important  action.  Yere's  conduct  was  cool^ 
respectful,  and  rational,  while  the  earl  manifested  an  intem- 
perate and  petulant  spirit.* 

The  earl  was  imquestionably  a  man  of  ability  and  energy ; 
and  in  the  opinion  of  his  cotemporaries  qualified  to  lead  a 
party  in  the  state.  Towards  the  close  of  Elizabeth's  reign^ 
he  attached  himself  strongly  to  the  interests  of  James  YI.  of 
Scotland,  and  with  more  zeal  than  either  discretion  or  hon- 
our, he,  along  with  some  other  craven-hearted  English  noble- 
men^ solicited  James  to  seize  on  the  English  throne.  This 
was  ungenerous  and  even  cowardly;  for  the  old  lioness^ 
before  whom  they  would  have  quailed  when  in  her  strength^ 
was  now  stricken  down  with  disease.  James,  however,  was 
more  honourable,  and  rejected  such  mean  and  unworthy 

In  the  early  j0t  of  the  reign  of  James  I.,  the  earl  was 
engaged  in  some  formal  commissions  and  state  ceremonials ; 
but  he  soon  lost  the  favour  of  the  king,  chiefly  through  the 
influence  of  Cecil,  who  indeed  suspected  the  earl  of  being 
concerned  in  the  Rye  conspiracy.  Frowned  upon  by  the 
court,  the  earl,  a  disappointed  man,  probably  enough  would 
be  disposed  to  look  with  no  disfavour  on  schemes  opposed  to 
the  government.  Through,  however,  the  treasonable  conduct 
of  his  kinsman  Thomas  Percy,  who  was  a  leader  in  the  in- 
famous Gunpowder  Plot,  he  was  involved  in  serious  trouble. 
This  Thomas  Percy,  called  the  conspirator,  was  a  Roman 
Catholic,  and  the  grandson  of  Joscelyn  Percy,  who  was  fourth 
son  of  the  fourth  earl  of  Northumberland.    It  was  customary, 

*  Collins  giyes  a  long  acoonnt  of  this  matter,  VL,  pp.  497-48S. 

Digitized  by 



at  this  period^  for  noblemen  to  place  younger  branches  of  their 
families  in  situations  in  their  household^  and  accordingly 
Thomas  Percy  was  constable  of  Alnwick  Castle  and  auditor 
and  commissioner  to  the  earl.  From  his  official  connection 
with  the  barony  he  was  frequently  at  Alnwick;  his  wife 
lived  there,  his  children  were  born  in  the  castle,  his  son 
Robert  attended  the  Alnwick  Grammar  School,  and  one  of 
his  daughters  was  buried  at  Alnwick  on  Snd  February,  1602. 
Such  was  the  regard  in  which  he  was  held  by  Henry  the 
earl  of  Northumberland,  that  in  a  formal  document  in  1597 
he  writes — 

''The  very  true  and  undoubted  patrone  of  the  parishe  and, 
churche  of  Alnehome  sending  greeting  in  the  Lord  Ood  Ever- 
lasting, graunts  by  his  writing  to  my  wellbeloved  Oosyn  Thomas 
Percy,  hu  executors,  and  assignes,  the  first  and  next  advowsone, 
donation,  nomination,  presentation  and  free  disposition  of  the 
Beotory  and  Parsonage  of  the  Parish  Qhurch  of  Alneham." 

Beligious  principles  must  have  hung  loosely  around  the  earl, 
when  he  gave  the  advowson  of  a  protestant  church  to  a  catholic. 
The  following  document,  preserved  among  the  Alnwick  Castle 
records  shews  the  kind  of  duties  performed  by  Thomas  Percy 
and  the  style  of  address  adopted  by  the  earl : — 

"  Whereas  I  am  informed,  that  Mr.  Lyle  of  Felton  hath  en- 
croached and  enclosed  certen  parcells  of  my  soyle  and  commons 
within  my  manor  of  Thurston  to  the  great  hinderance  and  annoy- 
ance of  my  tenants  and  the  prejudice  of  my  inheritance,  These 
are  therefore  to  will  and  reqiure  yow  to  pull  downe  and  lay  open 
or  cause  to  be  pulled  downe  and  layd  open  to  my  same  commons 
ageyne  all  such  parceUs  as  be  now  enclosed.  And  so  to  se  them 
ooniynue.  Aad  this  shalbe  your  warrant  for  the  same.  Geven 
at  my  howse  at  Syon  the  x^  June,  1602. 
To  my  loveing  Oosen 

Tho:  Percy  my  Constable 

of  Alnewick." 

The  bold  and  flourishing  signature  of  this  conspirator  I 
have  seen  attached  to  several  documents  in  Alnwick  Castle. 
He  had  also  received  the  appointment  of  gentleman  pen- 
sioner from  the  earl,  who  was  captain  of  the  band.  The 
Gunpowder  Plot,  as  is  well  known,  was  frustrated,  and 
Thomas  Percy  was  slain  at  Holbeach  on  the  8th  November, 

Suspicion  fell  upon  the  earl,  as  this  conspirator  was  his 
kinsman  and  in  his  service ;  and  it  was  supposed  that  to  the 


Digitized  by 



earl  would  have  been  offered  the  protectorship  of  the  kingdom 
if  the  conspiracy  .had  been  successful ;  he  was  therefore 
arrested^  and  for  some  weeks  confined  to  his  own  house^  but 
afterwards  committed  to  the  tower.  He  boldly  asserted  his 
innocence^  and  demanded  a  trial.  After  nearly  seven  months 
delay,  he  was,  on  27th  June  1606,  arraigned  before  the  Star 
Chamber  and  conyicted  of  misprision  of  treason,  because  he 
endeavoured  to  be  the  head  of  the  papists  and  procure  them 
toleration  ;  because  he  admitted  Thomas  Percy  to  be  a  king's 
gentleman-pensioner,  without  administering  to  him  the  oadi 
of  supremacy,  knowing  him  to  be  a  recusant ;  because  he 
presumed  to  write  and  send  letters,  after  his  restraint,  with- 
out leave  of  the  king  or  his  council ;  because  he  had  more 
care  of  his  own  treasure  than  of  the  king  and  state,  and  made 
no  endeavour  to  apprehend  the  traitor  Percy ;  and  because 
he  sent  letters  to  warn  Percy  to  make  his  escape.  He  was 
convicted  without  adequate  evidence  of  guilt,  for  Uie  hets 
proved  did  not  substantiate  the  chai^.  The  reasons  are 
frivolous  and  reflect  discredit  on  the  judges ;  we  must  not, 
however,  look  for  equity  in  the  proceedings  of  the  Star 
Chamber.  He  was  sentenced  to  pay  a  fine  of  £30,000 — ^the 
largest  fine  ever  inficted — ^to  be  deprived  of  all  his  offices,  to 
be  incapable  of  holding  them  again,  and  to  be  imprisoned  in 
the  tower  during  his  life. 

Able  and  spinted,  he  was  not  the  man  to  submit  to  these 
illegal  impositions  without  remonstrance.  While  in  prison, 
he  wrote  many  letters  to  the  king,  to  the  lords  of  the  Council, 
to  Lord  Burghley,  to  the  earl  of  Salisbury,  to  the  queen,  and 
others,  to  procure  an  abatement  of  the  fine;  and  his  neglected 
wife  too,  advocated  his  cause.  His  wife  thus  writes  to  the 
earl  of  Salisbury  : — 

''Noble  Lord,  the  honourable  respect  it  pleaseth  you  to  yeald 
to  me  in  this  tyme  gives  releave  to  my  weiyed  minde  which 
cannot  be  but  sencable,  that  this  horrible  treson  will  be  a  blotte 
to  the  name  I  love  so  well,  otherwise  I  am  confident  in  my  Lord's 
innocenoy  and  that  you  will  shew  your  selfe  a  true  noble  firend 
in  Salving  his  reputation,  which  is  much  wounded  in  the  opinione 
of  the  T^rld  by  this  wretched  Cosen,  who  being  taken  I  dout 
not  but  all  suspicion  of  my  Lord  will  be  cleared  and  so  oomfbrt- 
ing  myself  in  your  noble  fevour."* 

A  number  of  his  own  letters  have  been  printed  by  Collins; 
many  of  them  are  of  but  little  interest;    others  are  still 

•  Bargleigli  Papers,  MSS.  617S. 

Digitized  by 



unpublished ;  a  few  extracts,  however,  will  exhibit  his  char- 
act^  and  habits,  and  the  condition  of  his  estates. 

To  the  lords  of  the  Council  the  earl  writes  on  11th  November, 
1605 : — **  Oonsider  I  desire  your  Lordships,  the  course  of  my 
lifb,  whether  it  hath  not  lecmed  more,  of  late  years,  to  private 
domestical  pleasures,  than  to  other  ambitions.  Examine  but  my 
humours  in  buildings,  gardenings,  and  private  expenses,  these 
two  years  past.  Look  upon  these  few  arms  at  Sion,  my  stable 
of  horses  at  this  instant,  the  dispersedness  of  them,  and  of  my 
servants ;  the  little  concourse  of  followers ;  and  your  Lordships 
will  find  they  be  very  consonant  one  to  another ;  and  all  of  them 
to  put  away  jealousy."  In  July,  1606,  he  wrote  to  the  king  a 
letter  sadly  wanting  in  dignity,  and  bitter  in  its  vituperation  of 
his  ''  loveing  Gosen."  He  says  he  never  fostered  in  his  bosom 
'  one  disloyal  or  undutiful  thought,  although,  pointed  at  in  these  by 
the  devihsh  attempts  and  ugly  acts  of  a  wicked  fellow — Thomas 
Percy,  who  took  advantage  of  the  trust  committed  to  him  to  serve 
his  own  purpose ;  out  of  villany  he  made  use  of  that  trust ;  he 
had  poison  and  craft  in  his  breast  against  the  king  and  state,  and 
unfJEdthfiilness  and  want  of  affection  to  him;  the  earl  pleads 
innocence,  and  was  willing  to  sacrifice  his  life  to  the  king's  ser- 
vice.* To  the  king  he  writes  on  the  24th  of  November,  1606 — 
<<  May  it  please  ^our  Majesty  after  so  long  durance  as  I  have 
undergone  for  this  year  past,  to  have  thought  of  forgiveness  and 
release.  If  your  Majesty  but  understood  how  grievous  your 
Majesty's  displeasure  is  to  me,  your  Majesty  out  of  your  mercy, 
would  look  upon  me  with  a  more  favourable  eye,  and  not  suffer 
me  to  spend  the  better  part  of  my  days  in  sorrow  ;  in  his  days, 
under  whom  I  had  more  reason  to  look  for  comfort,  than  in  hers, 
that  was  your  predecessor.  Since  my  heart  can  bear  a  true 
testimony  to  itself,  that  I  did  never,  in  thought  or  deed  willingly 
consent  to  any  thing  I  conceived  prejudicial  to  your  Majesty  or 
yours.  And  as  I  speak  truly,  or  falsely,  so  I  pray  God  to  deal 
with  me  in  the  last  day  of  judgment."  He  complains  very 
bitterly  in  a  letter  to  the  lord  high  treasurer,  on  February  2nd, 
1611,  of  the  fine  imposed :—"  The  thing  itself  is  extraordinary 
not  to  be  paralelled ;  for  first  it  is  the  greatest  fine  that  ever  was 
imposed  upon  a  subject.  Fines  upon  no  man  hath  been  taken 
near  the  censures;  but  first  much  qualified,  then  installed  on  easy 
conditions.  To  be  levied  in  this  fashion  is  not  used,  or  if  let,  yet 
for  the  benefit  of  the  owner  and  not  to  his  ruin.  By  this  course 
is  taken  I  see  not,  but  receivers  may  make  what  accounts  they 
list,  pay  the  king  at  leisure,  yet  I  not  quitted  of  half  that  is 
gathered ;  my  lands  spoiled ;  my  houses  ruinated ;  my  suits  in 

•  British  Museum,  Add.  MSS.  017S. 

Digitized  by 



Iavt  receiye  prejndioe ;  my  offieers  imBriBoned  that  stand  bound 
for  me ;  my  debts  nnflatiflfied ;  relief  oy  borrowing  taken  away ; 
my  brothers  and  servants  must  suffer ;  my  wife,  children,  and 
myself  must  starve ;  for  the  receivers  are,  by  fJieir  leases,  to 
account  but  once  a  year ;  for  which  service  of  gathering,  they 
have  their  reward  of  2s.  in  the  pound ;  besides  gain  in  retaining 
money  in  their  hands  and  commodities  many  ways  else.  In  all 
this  provision  for  them,  I  find  not  a  thought  of  one  penny,  either 
for  my  wife,  child,  or  myself;  so  as  there  wants  nothing  but 
strewing  the  land  with  salt,  to  make  it  a  pattern  of  severe  punish- 
ment ;  and  whether  these  tlungs  should  pierce  into  the  heart  of 
a  human  man,  I  leave  to  your  Lordship  to  think  of."  He  enters 
more  particularly  into  the  state  of  his  affairs  in  a  letter  to  the 
king  on  the  14th  of  April,  1613— "May  it  please  your  Majesty 
to  give  me  leave  to  open  partly  the  state  as  it  now  standeth  with 
my  children,  and  humbly  to  present  you  with  an  offer  that  may . 
help  them  and  of  more  value  to  your  Majesty.  My  daughters 
are  of  15  and  14  years  of  age ;  the  time  of  their  preferments,  for 
all  their  lives,  is  at  hand,  and  will  not  admit  long  delay.  The 
instalment  of  the  fine,  as  your  Majesty  hath  imposed  it,  cannot 
be  paid  in  seven  years,  they  provided  for  and  aU  the  rest ;  arid 
myself  relieved  as  they  ought,  and  as  the  world  will  expect  from 
me  in  duty  of  a  father.  £15,000,  if  it  should  be  paid,  taking  use 
upon  use,  not  resting  one  moment  of  an  hour  idle  (which  cannot 
be  done)  in  seven  years,  will  come  to  £20,000  oi  thereabouts; 
and  to  be  bought  by  any  chapman  in  ready  money,  £10,000 
would  be  the  most  that  would  be  given.  Sion,  and  please  your 
Majesty,  is  the  only  land  I  can  put  away;  the  rest  being  entailed. 
I  had  it  before  your  Majesty's  happy  entry  48  years  by  lease, 
without  paying  any  rent,  but  such  as  was  riven  back  again, 
certain  in  other  allowances.  It  has  cost  me  smce  your  Majesty 
bestowed  it  upon  me,  partly  upon  the  house,  partly  upon  the 
gardens,  £9000.  The  lands,  as  it  is  now  rented  and  rated,  is 
worth  to  be  sold  £8000  within  a  little  more  or  less ;  If  your 
Majesty  had  it  in  your  hands  it  would  be  better  than  £200  a 
year  more  by  the  copyholders  estates,  which  now  payeth  but  two 
years  old  rent  fine ;  dealing  with  them,  as  you  do  with  all  your 
copyholders  in  England,  is  worth  at  least  £3000.  The  house 
itself,  if  it  were  to  be  pulled  down,  and  sold  by  view  of  workmen 
comes  to  8000  and  odd  pounds.  If  any  man,  the  best  husband 
to  building,  should  raise  another  in  the  same  place,  £20,000 
would  not  do  it ;  so  as  according  to  the  work  it  may  be  reckoned, 
at  these  rates,  £31,000,  and  as  it  may  be  sold  and  pulled  to  pieces 
£19,000  or  thereabouts.  Thus  your  Majesty  seeth  the  estate  of 
the  thing ;  what  it  is ;  how  the  care  of  a  father  beholding  the 
fortunes  of  my  daughters,  rather  choosing  to  lay  a  loss  upon 
myself,  and  my  heir,  which  time  may  recover,  than  of  them, 
which  may  not  endure  time,  to  make  up  their  advancements." 

Digitized  by 



The  fine  was  paid  in  1614)  but  he  was  not  released  till 
the  18th  of  July^  IGSl,  after  having  been  a  prisoner  for 
fifteen  years.  Before  his  imprisonment^  he  had  cultiyated 
learning  and  been  a  patron  of  learned  and  scientific  men. 
When  he  received  the  degree  of  Master  of  Arts  at  Oxford  in 
1605,  he  was  entered  on  the  university  list  as  '*  the  most 
penerous  Count  of  Northumberland,  a  great  encourager  of 
learning  and  learned  men,  especially  mathematicians."  He 
gave  a  pension  to  the  Rev.  Nath.  Torperley,  a  noted  mathe- 
matician. The  great  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  introduced  to  him 
Thomas  Hariot,  who  had  been  with  Raleigh  in  Virginia, 
where  he  was  engaged  in  discovery  and  surveying ;  and  the 
earl,  finding  him  a  gentleman  of  an  affable  and  peaceable 
nature  and  well  read  in  the  obscure  parts  of  learning,  allowed 
him  an  yearly  pension  of  £120.  Pensions  of  less  value 
he  gave  also  to  Robert  Hues  and  Walter  Warner.  When 
consigned  to  the  Tower,  these  learned  men  became  his  daily 
companions ;  and  his  table  was  open  to  their  entertainment. 
With  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  who  was  then  in  the  Tower  and 
engaged  in  vniting  his  great  history  of  the  world,  he  held 
frequent  conversations.  The  earl  himself  prosecuted  the 
study  of  chemistry  and  astronomy ;  and  Hariot,  Hues,  and 
Warner  assisted  him  in  his  experiments  and  calculations. 
In  the  public  mind  such  studies  were  even  then  regarded  as  a 
branch  of  astrology  and  necromancy ;  and  hence  the  earl  was 
distinguished  by  the  name  of  Henry  the  Wizard,  and  his 
assistants  as  the  Three  Magi,  Anthony  Wood  says  that 
Hariot  was  a  deist  and  believed  in  the  eternity  of  matter, 
and  he  did  impart  his  doctrine  to  the  earl  of  Northumberland 
and  to  Sir  Walter  Raleigh.* 

For  his  release,  he  was  indebted  to  his  son-in-law,  from 
whom  he  was  unwilling  to  receive  any  favour.  His  youngest 
daughter,  Mary,  the  most  beautiful  woman  of  tne  time, 
who  had  been  highly  eulogised  by  wit«  and  poets,  married 
Lord  Hayes  against  her  father's  will,  and  so  offended  was 
the  earl,  that  he  would  give  her  no  fortune;  but  Hayes 
valued  his  much  admired  bride  more  than  fortune,  and 
endeavoured  to  gain  from  the  king  the  pardon  of  her  father ; 
and  he  succeeded.  The  stubborn  old  earl  could  with  diffi- 
culty be  induced  to  accept  of  this  boon  from  such  a  source ; 
but  at  length  persuaded  that  his  infirmities  of  body  would 
be  remedied  by  a  journey  to  Bath,  he  therefore  bid  adieu  to 

*  Wood's  Athense  OxoDiensia. 

Digitized  by 



his  prison.  Whatever  else  he  had  been  taught  in  the  Tower^ 
he  had  not  learnt  humility ;  for  when  he  heard  that  the 
king's  favourite^  Buckingham,  displayed  his  pride  by  being 
drawn  in  a  coach  ^ith  six  horses,  this  vain  old  man,  to  over- 
top the  fiiYOurite,  rode  through  the  city  of  London  to  Bath 
in  a  coach  with  eight  horses^  exciting  the  wonder  and  obser- 
Tation  of  the  multitude.* 

After  this  freak  the  earl  retired  to  Petworth,  ^here  he 
lived  in  comparative  obscurity  for  twelve  years;  thougb 
oocarionally  visited  b^  the  nobility,he  seldom  went  to  London, 
and  never  engaged  in  public  affiiirs.  He  died  at  Petworth 
on  the  6th  of  November,  1682,  and  was  buried  there.  On 
the  4th  of  July,  1604,  he  obtained  a  grant  or  fee-farm  of  the 
manor  of  Isleworth  and  Syon  in  the  county  of  Middlesex,  to 
which  reference  is  made  in  one  of  his  letters;  and  from  Charles 
I.,  in  1628,  he  obtained  a  confirmation  to  himself  and  the 
heirs  male  of  his  body,  of  the  title  and  dignity  of  Baron 
Percy,  as  his  ancestors  had  enjoyed  them,  as  also  he  did  then 
(being  earl  of  Northumberland)  enjoy  his  place  and  prece- 
dency. He  left  two  sons,  Algernon,  who  succeeded  him,  and 
Henry ;  and  two  daughters,  Lucy  and  Agnes. 

The  earl  wrote  three  treatises,  all  addressed  to  his  son ; 
one  of  them,  printed  in  the  Antiquarian  Repertory,  is  entitled 
"  Instructions  for  the  Lord  Percy  in  his  Travells,"  and  con* 
tains  much  good  sense,  expressed  in  a  quaint  style,  and  is 
evidently  the  production  of  a  cultivated  and  observing  mind. 


Algernon,  the  eldest  son  of  the  ninth  earl,  succeeded  to  his 
father's  honours  and  estates  in  1632,  when  he  was  thirty 
years  of  age.  He  had  been  educated  at  Oxford,  \frhere  he 
had  for  tutor,  Robert  Hues,  the  celebrated  mathematician, 
known  as  one  of  the  Three  Magi.  At  the  early  age  of  twelve, 
he  was  made  one  of  the  knights  of  Bath;  and  while  his 
father  was  living,  he  was  called  to  the  house  of  peers  by  the 
title  of  Lord  Percy,  on  the  accession  of  Charles  L,  in  1625. 
After  his  succession  to  the  earldom,  the  king  treated  him 
with  great  kindness  and  respect;  "so  much  so**  says  Claren- 
don, "that  the  king  courted  him  as  his  mistress  and  conversed 
with  him  as  a  friend.'*  In  1635,  he  was  installed  with  great 
magnificence  knight  of  the  Garter,  proceeding  in  great  pomp 
and  glory  to  Windsor. 

«  Wi)Mn*8  LifiB  of  Junes  I.,  II.,  p.  720. 

Digitized  by 



In  the  earlier  period  of  the  reign  of  Charles  I.  the  earl  was 
a  powerful  supporter  of  the  kin^.  While  Charles  was  pro- 
secuting his  evil  design  of  reigning  as  an  absolute  king,  and 
Laud,  by  the  Star  Chamber,  was  attempting  to  crush  freedom 
of  thought,  the  earl,  entrusted  with  the  command  of  a  fleet 
of  sixty  sail,  was  employed  in  destroying  Dutch  fishing  vessels 
which  had  trespassed  in  British  waters.  After  this  service, 
he  was,  in  16S7,  promoted  to  be  lord  high  admiral  of  Eng- 

Before  the  great  civil  war  broke  out  in  England,  Charles 
roused  the  indignation  of  the  Scots,  by  attewpting  to  force 
prelacy  on  that  nation.  To  reduce  Scotland  to  his  arbitrary 
will,  he  raised  an  army  and  marched  towards  Scotland  ;  and 
of  this  force  the  earl  of  Northumberland  was  appointed 
captain-general.  His  commission  gave  him  power  to  appoint 
all  the  officers ;  and  it  appears  that  he  had  raised  two  troops 
of  horse  ^ards;  one  of  a  hundred  cuirassiers,  another  of 
nzty  carbiniers.  Commissions  he  issued  to  raise  two  thou* 
sand  horse.  He,  however,  seems  to  have  had  little  hope  of 
the  success  of  this  expedition ;  ^'  no  one  knows  "  says  he, 
'^  how  it  win  be  paid ;  and  till  I  see  that  well  settled,  I  shall 
joy  but  little  in  my  charge."  Sickness,  real  or  pretended, 
prevented  him  taking  the  command. 

The  earl  of  Northumberland  does  not  appear  in  any  of  the 
transactions  of  the  county  at  this  time ;  but  about  1641,  he 

fave  evidence  of  being  dissatisfied  with  the  policy  of  the 
ing ;  and  according  to  Clarendon,  '^  his  defection  from  bis 
Majesty's  service  wrought  several  ill  effects  in  the  minds  of 
many,  for  he  had  then  the  most  esteemed  and  unblemished 
reputation  in  court  and  country,  of  any  person  of  his  rank 
titfoughout  the  kingdom ;  therdfore  many  concluded  that  he 
had  some  notable  temptation  in  conscience,  and  that  the 
court  was  much  worse  than  it  was  believed  to  be."  For 
the  course  he  took,  he  is  entitled  to  an  honourable  place 
in  the  history  of  his  country,  and  to  the  respect  of  after- 
times.  In  most  of  the  commissions  for  negotiating  peace  he 
was  an  active  member ;  and  he  sought  earnestly  to  carry  out 
such  a  settlement  of  the  great  controversy,  as  might  secure^ 
constitutional  government  and  the  rights  of  the  people.  By 
the  parliament,  into  whose  service  he  had  entered,  he  was 
ordered,  in  1641,  as  high  admiral,  to  fit  the  navy  for  sea,  in 
defence  of  the  kingdom ;  but  although  he  had  signified  his 
readiness  to  obey  this  order,  ill  health  prevented  him  going 
into  active  service.    Through  his  management,  however,  the 

Digitized  by 



command  of  the  fleet  was  transferred  to  the  earl  of  Warwick 
in  accordance  with  the  wish  of  parliament ;  and  this  effectu- 
ally thwarted  the  designs  of  the  king^  who  attempted  to 
ohtain  possession  of  the  fleet. 

When  at  Oxford^  for  the  purpose  of  negotiating  peace,  he 
exhibited  all  the  stateliness  of  his  family ;  he  carried  with 
him  his  own  plate,  household  stuff,  wine,  and  provisions, 
"  and  he  lived "  says  Whitelock,  "  in  as  much  height  and 
nobleness  as  the  earls  of  Northumberland  used  to  do ;  and 
that  is  scarce  exceeded  by  any  subject."  The  king  shewed 
him  great  favour  and  civility ;  and  sometimes  accepted  of  the 
wine  and  provisions  which  were  sent  by  the  earl  when  he 
had  anything  extraordinary. 

His  conduct  subsequently  has  the  appearance  of  fickleness 
and  trimming ;  for,  in  1643,  he  was  cognisant  of  Waller's 
Plot,  which  was  designed  to  engage  the  city  of  London  in 
£Eivour  of  the  king ;  and  though  it  was  not  proved  that  he 
had  entered  into  the  plot,  yet  it  was  known  that  he  was 
favourable  to  it  and  wished  it  success.  Others  were  prose- 
cuted for  it ;  but  as  the  earl  still  enjoyed  a  high  reputation, 
he  was  dealt  with  tenderly.  On  the  plea  of  ill  health,  he 
obtained  the  leave  of  the  house  of  commons  to  retire  to  his 
seat  at  Petworth  ;  but  he  was  soon  again  in  favour  with  the 
ruling  powers,  and  after  being  engaged  in  other  commissions 
to  treat  for  peace,  he  and  his  countess  were,  in  1645,  entrusted 
with  the  king's  children,  for  which  they  were  to  have  an 
yearly  allowance  of  £8000. 

After  the  king  was  in  captivity,  the  parliament  and  the 
army  mutually  criminated  each  other.  The  earl  was  one  of 
the  fifteen  peers  and  one  hundred  members  of  the  house  of 
commons,  who  left  London  and  sought  the  protection  of  the 
army ;  but  he  still  continued  to  exert  himself  to  bring  about 
peace,  the  restoration  of  the  monarchy,  and  the  establishment 
of  constitutional  liberty. 

'^  The  earl  of  Northumberland  was  the  great  instrument 
of  the  new  model,  and  complied  wholly  with  the  independent 
party  of  the  time ;"  and  after  the  house  of  peers  was  abol- 
ished, he  voluntarily  came  to  the  Chancery  Bar,  and  took 
the  commonwealth  engagement,  saying,  in  sight  of  all  the 
people,  ^'  I  will  be  true  and  faithful  to  the  commonwealth  of 
England,  without  a  king  and  house  of  lords."*     He  was 

•  Huldan  M88.,  1994 1  which  oontein  eztncti  from  the  Joanuk  of  the 
Home  of  Lorde  in  1648  to  1645,  with  eomments  hy  the  earl  of  Radnor. 

Digitized  by 



opposed  to  the  trial  and  execution  of  the  king.  During  the 
time  of  the  commonwealth  and  pi;otectorate9  he  lived  in  a 
retired  manner  at  Petworth.  He  seems  afterwards  to  have 
held  the  views  and  adopted  the  policy  of  the  more  moderate 
Presbyterians  of  the  period ;  and  he  was  present  at  a  confer- 
ence which  General  Monk  had  with  the  chiefs  of  that  party, 
respecting  the  restoration  of  the  monarchy ;  he  was  among 
the  soberer  people,  who,  according  to  his  own  words,  '^expect 
on  the  restoration  of  the  king  such  conditions  as  an  act  of 
oblivion  and  general  pardon ;  but  terms  of  more  security  for 
themselves  and  advantage  to  the  nation." 

He  resisted  to  the  last,  the  punishment  of  the  members  of 
the  high  court  of  Justice,  because  **  the  execution  of  Charles 
I.  woidd  be  a  wholesome  warning  to  future  sovereigns." 

After  the  restoration  he  was  appointed  lord  lieutenant  of 
the  counties  of  Sussex  and  of  Northumberland ;  but  though 
he  attended  parliament  regularly  during  the  winter  season, 
he  sought  no  office  in  the  state,  and  appears  to  have  cared 
little  for  royal  favour,  very  probably  disapproving  of  the 
moral  and  political  corruption  which  disgraced  the  court  of 
the  restored  monarch.  He  delighted  himself  with  his  gar- 
dens and  plantations  at  Petworth  during  the  summer  months. 
He  died  there  on  the  13th  of  October,  1668,  and  was  buried 
in  Petworth  Church. 

He  was  one  of  the  noblest  of  his  race ;  and  his  career  was 
honourable  and  patriotic.  He  seems  to  have  been  actuated 
by  high  religious  principles ;  Ralph  Thore^by,  the  antiquary, 
refers  to  his  funeral  sermon,  which  was  in  manuscript,  and 
says  he  was  much  affected  with  the  seriousness  and  piety  of 
this  great  lord.  That  great  painter  of  men.  Clarendon,  has 
drawn  his  character. 

"He  was,  in  all  his  deportment,  a  very  great  man;  and  that 
which  looked  like  formality,  was  a  punctuality  in  preserving  his 
dignity  from  the  intrusion  of  bold  men,  whidb  no  man,  of  that 
age,  so  well  preserved  himself  from.  Though  his  notions  were 
not  large  nor  deep,  yet  his  temper  and  reservedness  in  speaking 
got  him  the  reputation  of  an  able  and  wise  man ;  which  he  made 
erident  in  the  excellent  government  of  his  family,  where  no  man 
was  more  absolutely  obeyed ;  and  no  man  had  ever  fewer  idle 
words  to  answer  for ;  and  in  debates  of  importance  he  always 
expressed  himseK  very  pertinently.  If  he  had  thought  the  king 
as  much  above  him  as  he  thought  himself  above  other  consider- 
able men,  he  would  have  been  a  good  subject ;  but  the  extreme 
under  valuing  those  and  not  enough  valuing  the  king,  made  him 
liable  to  the  impressions,  which  they  who  approa^ed  him  by 


Digitized  by 



those  addresses  of  rererenoe  and  esteem,  that  usually  insixraate 
such  natures,  made  in  him ;  so  that  after  he  was  first  prevailed 
on,  not  to  do  that,  which  in  honour  and  gratitude  he  was  obliged 
to  (which  is  a  yerj  pestilent  corruption),  he  was  wit^  the  more 
facility  led  to  concur  in  what  in  duty  and  Melity,  he  ought  not 
to  have  done ;  and  so  concurred  in  all  the  counsels,  which  pro- 
duced the  rebellion,  and  stayed  with  them  to  support  it/' 

>c7        He  was  married  first  to  Anne^  eldest  daughter  of  William 

,ir*^  '     Cecil,  earl  of^hrewsburj,  by  whom  he  had  five  daughters ; 

and  next^  to  ElizaEeth^  daughter  of  Theophilos  Howard, 

earl  of  Suffolk,  by  whom  he  had  Josceline,  his  only  son  and 


After  the  time  of  the  seventh  earl,  the  heraldry  becomes 
complicated  and  of  little  service  to  history.  '^The  tenth 
earPs  shield  has  sixteen  quarterings  ensigned  with  an  earl's 
coronet,  helm,  and  crest,  on  a  cbapeau,  a  lion  passant.  The 
shield  is  surrounded  by  the  garter.  Supporters,  dexter,  a 
lion  rampant;  sinister,  a  lion  rampant  guardant,  ducally 
crowned  and  gorged  with  a  collar  (gobony?).  Motto—- 
Esperance  en  Diev" — ^Mr.  Way,  Hist,  and  Antiq.  of  North. 



Very  brief  will  be  our  notice  of  Josceline,  the  last  of  the 
Percy-Lovaines.  During  his  father's  lifetime  he  married 
Elizabeth,  the  youngest  daughter  of  Thomas,  earl  of  South- 
ampton ;  and  in  1667  he  was  appointed  lord  lieutenant  of 
the  county  of  Southampton.  On  the  death  of  his  father,  lie 
succeeded  to  his  titles  and  estates,  and  in  the  same  year  was 
made  lord  lieutenant  of  Sussex  and  of  Northumberland.  He 
died,  while  travelling  with  his  countess,  at  Turin,  on  May 
21st,  1670 ;  his  body  was  brought  to  England  and  interred 
among  his  ancestors  at  Petworth.  He  left  only  one  daughter, 
Elizabeth,  who  was  four  years  of  age  at  the  death  of  her 

Thus  ends  the  long  and  eventful  history  of  the  distinguished 
family  of  Percy-Lovaine,  extending  over  a  period  of  five 
centuries,  during  three  hundred  and  sixty-one  years  of  which, 
excepting  at  a  few  short  intervals,  it  was  intimately  associ- 
ated with  Alnwick.  Fourteen  of  this  family  held  the  barony 
of  Alnwick  in  succession.  Though  endowed  with  immense 
possessions,  and  hence  always  occupying  a  commanding  posi- 
tion, these  barons  were  less  distinguished  as  statesmen  than 

Digitized  by 



as  border  chieftains.  In  civil  wars  and  in  &ction  struggles 
they  took  part,  bnt  without  being  guided  by  definite  prin- 
ciples, sometimes  on  the  side  of  the  sovereign  and  sometimes 
against  him;  but  none,  save  the  first  earl,  stood  in  the 
foremost  rank,  among  those  who  materially  influenced  the 
history  of  the  nation.  They  served,  as  has  been  said,  rather 
than  governed.  Most  of  them  were  men  of  blood,  and  not  a 
few  met  with  a  disastrous  end;  five  of  them  fell  on  the 
battle-field  or  by  the  axe  of  the  executioner ;  one  was  mur- 
dered by  a  mob,  another  shot  himself  in  prison,  and  another 
passed  the  best  portion  of  his  life  confined  in  London  Tower. 
Popular  they  were  as  a  family  in  the  north,  where  there  were 
strong  ties  between  lord  and  vassal,  and  where  thousands 
of  little  landowners,  interested  in  the  preservation  of  their 
properties  and  trained  to  the  use  of  arms,  forming  the  sturdy 
yeomanry  of  old  England,  were  ready  at  the  summons  of 
their  feudal  lord,  to  follow  him  to  the  field  to  repel  or  revenge 
aggression.  Towards  the  close  of  the  period  when  the  war- 
like spirit  had  to  a  great  extent  died  out,  the  later  barons 
endeavoured  to  keep  up  their  popularity  and  influence  by 
gorgeous  displays  and  magnificent  hospitality.  For  the 
iibertv  of  the  people  none  of  them,  excepting  the  tenth  earl, 
manifested  any  marked  regard.  Hotspur  has  attained  the 
widest  feme,  partly  because  daring  and  dashing  warriors 
suited  the  northern  wants  and  taste,  but  chiefly  through  the 
halo  which  the  genius  of  Shakespeare  has  thrown  over  his 
name.  I  like  best,  however,  the  second  baron  and  the  second 
and  ninth  earls ;  the  first  contented  and  gentle  and  kind- 
hearted,  peaceably  living  on  his  estates ;  the  second,  faithful 
to  his  king,  brave  in  battle,  wise  in  counsel,  and  the  friend 
of  learning ;  and  the  last,  a  religious  and  conscientious  man, 
when  a  great  crisis  came  in  the  history  of  our  country, 
ranging  himself  on  the  side  of  freedom,  endeavouring  to 
moderate  the  heat  of  parties  and  to  secure  constitutional 
government ;  and  then,  when  failing  in  his  efforts,  quietly 
withdrawing  from  the  fescinations  of  a  corrupt  and  licentious 

Digitized  by 



SOMEESET  FAMILY— FBOM  1670  TO  1760. 


The  death  of  Josceline,  the  eleventh  earl  of  Northumber- 
land, threw  the  affairs  of  the  Percy-Lovaine  family  into 
confusion  and  litigation.  The  earldom,  which  had  been 
conferred  by  patent  in  1557,  was  limited  to  male  descendants; 
and  it  was  supposed  that  there  was  no  male  descendant  of 
any  of  the  last  six  earls  in  existence.  Charles  II.  therefore, 
in  1674,  raised  George  Fitzroy,  his  third  illegitimate  son  by 
Barbara,  duchess  of  Cleveland,  to  the  dignity  of  earl  of 
Northumberland;  and,  in  1683,  he  created  him  duke  of 
Northumberland.  This  duke  dying  without  issue  in  1716, 
these  honours  again  became  extinguished. 

Through  the  limitations  of  the  patent  in  1557,  part  of  the 
Percy-Lovaine  estates  reverted  to  the  crown.  A  manuscript, 
entitled  ^^  State  of  the  case  touching  some  lands  of  the  Earle 
of  Northumberland,"  made  three  years  after  the  death  of 
Josceline,  by  a  recital  of  the  various  grants  made  by  the 
crown,  shews  what  these  estates  were  and  how  they  reverted 
to  the  king.     It  thus  concludes — 

"  By  an  Office  and  Inquisition  post  mortem  of  the  said  Henry,  Earle  of 
Northumberland,  taken  by  Commissioners  of  their  owne  friends  and  a  Jn^ 
Swome  and  Impannelled  the  14  th  day  of  January  then  next  foUowing,  it 
was  upon  their  own  evidence  found. 

That  the  said  Henry,  Earle  of  Northumberland,  as  son  and  heire  male  of 
the  body  of  Henry,  Earle  of  Northumberland,  his  father,  was  upon  the  day 
of  his  death  seized  in  fee  TaHe  to  him  and  the  heires  male  of  his  body. 

Digitized  by 


SOlfERSBT  FAlflLT.  801 

The  leyeroon  in  fee  simple  to  the  king,  his  heixes,  and  snooeeBon,  apper- 
taining of  the  Lordflhm  and  Manors  inter  alia  of  Denwick,  Houghton,  Ijbmo- 
buiv,  Aylnexnouth,  Bilton,  Tnghall,  Kewham,  Kewsteikd,  Looker,  Gonth 
Carleton,  AinAtuwi  cum  Mora,  Fawdon  cmn  Clinch,  Chatton,  Wooller, 
Badgley,  Sheldecks,  Shilhottle,  Benyngton,  and  Lyham,  mth  their  and 
every  of  their  membera  and  appurtenances,  the  lands,  tenements  and  heredi- 
taments called  Swinleaze,  Harecragge,  Sniphotis,  Hesley  Houses,  Hall  Closes, 
the  Lordships  and  Manors  of  Acidinffton  Parke  of  AckUngton,  Manors  of 
Burlinff,  Ghusens,  Tuggesden,  Boston,  Kewtoune,  Brotherick,  and  Thurston, 
a  free  fishing  in  the  water  of  Cocket  over  against  Warkeworth,  a  fishing  upon 
the  Sea  Coart  neere  Bulmer.  The  Barony,  Lordship,  and  Manor  of  Beanley. 
with  their  rights,  members,  and  appurtenances,  the  Lordship,  Manors,  ana 
Forest  of  Eothbury ,  Lands  and  Tenements  in  Newbiggen,  Hedley,  Piperhaugh, 
Thomeyhau^,  and  Ecclesraughe,  within  the  Forest  of  Rothbury,  Manors  of 
Newtowne,  Thropton,  Snytter,  Cartjmgton,  and  Spoonehill,  the  Lordi^ps 
and  Manors  of  Newbome,  Corbridge,  Walbottle,  Butterlaw,  Throckley;  and 
Dewlye,  diverse  Lands  and  Tenements  in  the  Towne  of  Newcastle  upon  Tyne, 
the  Manors,  Messuages,  Lands,  and  Tenements,  called  Talbott's  Lands,  in 
Tindall,  an  yearly  rent  of  £0  I9s.  8d.  issuing  out  of  the  Manor  or  Barony  of 
Longly,  the  advowsons  of  Houghton,  Ayneham,  Chatton,  and  Horsley,  an 
anniuJ  rent  of  398.  8d.  issuing  out  of  the  Manor  of  Byker,  Bikerwood,  and 
Easterwood,  and  the  service  of  a  20th  part  of  a  knight's  fee  by  which  the  said 
Manor  of  Biker  is  holden  in  the  Coun^  of  Northumberland.  And  of  £20  per 
annum  for  the  Creation  Money  issueing  out  of  the  profitts  of  the  said  county 
by  virtue  of  the  grant  made  as  aforesaid  by  King  Philip  and  Queene  Mary  in 
the  3rd  and  4th  yeare  of  their  raigne,  of  the  honor  and  title  of  Earle  of 

And  that  Algernon,  Earle  of  Northumberland,  was  the  son  and  heire  male 
of  the  body  of  the  said  Henry,  Earle  of  Northimiberland.  And  by  the  same 
inquisition  or  office  it  was  found  by  the  Jury  that  the  said  Earle  was  before 
his  death  seized  in  fee  of  the  honor  and  manor  of  Pettworth  in  the  County  of 
Sussex,  Honor  and  Manor  of  Cockermouth  in  the  County  of  Cumberland, 
Castles  and  Manors  of  Prudhoe,  Alnewick,  and  Warkworth,  and  Parkes  of 
Alnewick  and  Warkworth,  CoUedge  Parke,  West  Parke,  and  Hulne  Parke  in 
the  County  of  Northumberland. 

And  the  said  Algernon,  Earle  of  l^orthumberland,  surviving  his  only 
Brother  Heniy  Lord  Peircy,  who  died  without  issue.  And  departing  this 
life  having  only  issue  male  of  his  body  Jocelyne  Lord  Peircy,  slteac  Eurle  of 
Northumberland,  who  dyed  about  3  yeares  agoe  without  issue  male,  and  left 
only  a  daughter.  Whereby  all  the  male  line  of  the  said  Henry,  Earle  of 
Northumberland,  brother  of  the  said  Thomas,  Earle  of  Northumberland, 
being  extinct.  The  reversion  of  the  entayled  lands  whereof  no  Reversion 
appears  to  have  beene  granted  out  of  the  crowne  remaining  in  it.  His  now 
majestie  being  justly  entitled  thereunto,  hath  granted  the  said  manors  and 
lands  unto  the  said  James,  Duke  of  Monmouth,  and  his  heires  and  assignes. 

Persons,  howeyer,  bearing  the  name  of  Percy  appeared  after 
the  death  of  Josceline  claiming  to  be  heirs  of  the  honours 
and  estates.  But  for  an  attainder,  Francis  Percy,  of  Cam- 
bridge, a  stone  cutter,  would  have  been  the  true  heir.  He 
was  descended  from  Thomas  Percy,  the  grandson  of  Josceline, 
who  was  fourth  son  of  Henry,  the  fourth  earl  of  Northum- 
berland. This  Thomas,  as  we  have  seen,  was  constable  of 
Alnwick  Castle  and  auditor  to  Henry,  the  ninth  earl ;  but 
for  the  part  he  took  in  the  Gunpowder  Plot  he  was  attainted 
as  a  traitor.    His  son,  Robert,  was  grandfather  of  Francis 

Digitized  by 



Percy,  who  was  baptised  at  Bickley  on  the  15th  of  May, 
1649;  and  rose  to  the  dignity  of  mayor  of  Cambridge  in  1709, 
and  died  in  1716.  Charles,  his  son,  heir  to  this  forfeited 
heritage,  was  baptised  at  Cambridge  on  the  10th  December, 
1674,  was  a  member  of  the  common  council  of  the  town,  and 
died  there  in  1743.  He  left  sons,  one  of  whom,  Josceline, 
was  baptised  at  Cambridge  in  July,  1698,  and  after  studying 
at  the  university,  took  orders,  became  rector  of  Marham  in 
1735  and  died  in  1755,  leaving  daughters  only ;  but  he  had 
brothers,  of  whose  history  nothing  is  told. 

The  famous  genealogist  and  antiquary.  Sir  William  Dug- 
dale  examined  the  evidences  of  "  Mr.  Francis  Percy's " 
descent;  and  ''he  is  of  opinion  that  Mr.  Francis  Percy,  of 
Cambridge,  is  lineally  descended  from  Thomas  Percy ;"  some 
parts  of  his  abstract  of  the  evidences  contain  curious  local 

''Sept.  1,  1680.  Boger  England,  of  Taunton  in  Somersetshire, 
aged  80  years,  certifieth  that  he  married  Anne,  daughter  of 
Bobert  Percy,  son  of  Thomas  Percy  the  powder  traytor,  and  has 
heard  the  said  Bobert,  his  said  wife's  father  say,  that  he  was  son 
to  Thomas  Percy  who  was  engaged  in  the  powder  plot. 

'•  October  11,  1680.  John  Swinton,  Clerk  of  the  Parish  Chur<^ 
of  Anwick,  in  Northumberland,  aged  above  80  years,  affirmeth 
that  he  hath  heard  his  father  say  that  Mr.  Thomas  TeoNsy  and 
bis  wife  lived  in  the  Castle  of  Anwick,  and  had  children,  and 
that  after  the  powder  plot,  for  which  the  said  Thomas  lost  his 
life,  his  wife  went  to  London  and  lived  privately  there. 

<<  Oct.  14,  1680.  Matthew  Scott,  of  Oateshead,  in  the  Bishop- 
rick  of  Durham,  aged  99  years,  ceridfieth  that  he  knew  Thomas 
Percy,  who  was  afterwards  in  the  powder  plot,  Constable  of  Aln- 
wick Castle,  and  that  he  had  a  son  Eobert  and  two  daughters, 
and  that  the  said  Eobert  was  a  school-boy  at  Anwick. 

"  From  the  register  book  of  the  Parish  Church  of  Anwick  it 
appeareth  that  ilSlizabeth,  daughter  of  Thomas  Percy  of  Anwick 
Castle,  was  buried  Feb.  2,  1602. 

"  Divers  aged  people  living  in  Anwick  do  affirm,  that  Thomas 
Percy,  who  was  in  the  powder  plot,  was  son  of  Guiscard  Percy, 
and  that  Guiscard  Percy  was  orother  of  the  Eighth  Earl  of 

This  branch  of  the  Percy  family  does  not  appear  to  have 
appealed  to  law  in  support  of  their  claims. 

Another  Percy,  however,  rescued  himself  from  obscmity 
by  boldly  assuming  the  titles  of  the  family,  and  pertinaciously 
defending  his  claims  a^inst  the  most  powerful  antagonists, 
for  a  period  of  nearly  nineteen  years.     Soon  after  the  decease 

Digitized  by 



of  Josceline  in  1670^  James  Percy,  of  Dublin,  who  had  followed 
the  profession  of  trunkmaker  there,  preferred  his  claims  to 
the  earldom.  He  first  called  upon  the  widow  of  the  tenth 
earl,  who  was  then  living,  and  upon  the  young  countess ; 
but,  as  it  was  reported  that  the  latter  was  pregnant,  he 
deferred  further  proceedings  for  a  while.  On  attempting 
afterwards  to  obtain  access  to  these  dowagers,  he  was  treated 
with  indignity ;  and  at  length,  on  the  Srd  of  February  1672, 
he  lodged  his  claim  at  the  Signet  Office  in  London.  Annoyed 
at  his  proceedings,  the  old  dowager,  in  behalf  of  herself  and 
the  daughter  of  Josceline,  petitioned  the  house  of  lords,  on 
18th  February,  1673,  complaining  that  the  assumption  by 
James  Percy  of  the  titles  of  earl  of  Northumberland  and 
Lord  Percy  was  to  the  dishonour  of  their  family ;  and  this 
petition  was  referred  to  the  Committee  of  Privil^es.  On 
the  SOth,  James  Percy  also  presented  a  petition,  which  was 
after  being  read  dismissed.  Leave,  however,  was  afterwards 
granted  by  the  king  to  hear  at  the  bar  of  the  house  both 
parties,  who  were  allowed  one  month  to  prepare  their  cases. 
On  the  28th  March,  forty  witnesses  were  examined  in  behalf 
of  the  claimant ;  and  then  the  counsel  of  the  countess  was 
heard  in  support  of  her  charge  of  James  Percy  being  an 
impostor.  Percy's  counsel  prayed  for  further  time  to  answer; 
but  this  was  disallowed ;  and  his  counsel  declining  to  enter 
then  into  the  case,  the  house  of  lords  dismissed  Percy's 
petition,  and  resolved  to  consider  on  the  following  morning 
what  fhrther  proceedings  should  be  taken  against  him  con- 
cerning his  imposture.  This,  however,  was  not  carried 
unanimously;  for  the  earl  of  Anglesea  and  others  were 
allowed  to  enter  their  dissent. 

Whatever  may  be  thought  of  the  legality  of  Percy's  claims, 
it  must  be  admitted  that  he  had  a  strong  belief  in  their 
justice,  and  that  in  maintaining  them  he  displayed  the  spirit 
of  the  old  race.  In  some  doggerel  verses  he  sent  to  his 
antagonists,  he  says — 

"  Reiolved  I  am  to  spend  xnv  all 
Before  a  Percy's  name  shall  fall." 

He  was  not  crushed  by  the  adverse  decision  of  the  lords, 
but  appealed  to  the  ordinary  powers  of  law  in  maintenance 
of  his  supposed  rights.  Five  or  six  actions  he  entered  in 
the  courts  of  common  law  between  the  years  1674  and  1681, 
for  scandal  or  ejectment,  that  he  might  obtain  a  decision  on 
his  pedigree,    in  all  save  one  hd  was  defeated  or  nonsuited ; 

Digitized  by 



but  In  that  he  gained  a  verdict  of  £S00  damages  against 
Clark  for  calling  him  an  imposter.  An  action  brought 
against  John  Clarke^  Esquire^  for  scandal  and  defamation 
was  tried  in  1674  in  the  court  of  King's  Bench  before  Sir 
Matthew  Hale;  and  although^  for  some  technical  reason, 
Percy  was  nonsuited,  that  eminent  judge,  in  open  court, 
declared  that  he  had  proved  himself  a  true  Percy  of  the  blood 
and  family  of  the  Percys  of  Northumberland,  legitimate  by 
father  and  mother,  grandfather  and  grandmother,  and  ex- 
pressed his  belief,  that  he  really  was  cousin  and  next  heir  to 
the  late  Earl  Josceline. 

Again  James  Percy  appealed  to  the  house  of  lords,  by 
petition,  on  the  @5th  of  November,  1680,  to  be  heard  to  make 
out  his  claim  to  the  earldom.  This  seems  to  have  been 
rejected  without  deliberation;  notwithstanding,  the  earl  of 
Anglesea  entered  his  dissent,  because  it  was  unjust  to  reject 
any  such  claim  without  a  hearing,  and  was  contrary  to 
precedent  and  usage,  and  because  the  dismissal  of  a  claim 
by  a  former  parliament  was  no  sufficient  reason  under  the 
circumstances,  why  it  should  not  be  reconsidered  by  the 
present.  And  there  was  force  in  these  reasons ;  for  the  case 
presented  by  James  Percy  was  new,  inasmuch  as  his  claim 
now  was  based  on  a  line  of  succession  different  from  that  on 
which  he  formerly  claimed. 

Still  undaunted  by  this  second  rejection  of  his  petition, 
James  Percy  in  1682  filed  a  bill  in  equity  against  the  sheriff 
of  Northumberland  for  the  recovery  of  £20  per  annum, 
granted  by  patent  to  the  earl  of  Northumberland  out  of  the 
revenues  of  the  county.  Irritated  by  these  proceedings,  the 
duchess  of  Somerset,  tne  daughter  of  Josceline,  petitioned  the 
house  of  lords  on  the  subject  in  1685 ;  but  it  was  not  till 
1689,  that  the  warfare  was  brought  to  an  end.  Both  parties 
were  heard  on  June  11th,  and  the  lords  decided — '^  That  the 
pretensions  of  James  Percy  to  the  earldom  were  groundless, 
false,  and  scandalous,  and  that  he  should  be  brought  before 
the  four  courts  of  law  in  Westminster  Hall,  wearing  upon 
his  breast  a  paper  on  which  these  words  shall  be  written — 
The  false  and  impudent  pretender  to  the  Earldom  of  North- 

James  Percy,  now  an  old  man  of  70  years  of  age,  had  to 
submit  to  this  insulting  exhibition,  which,  however,  reflected 
more  dishonour  on  those  haughty  lords,  who  had  so  little 
sense  of  justice  as  to  punish  as  a  criminal  a  firee  man,  who 
was  pursuing  by  legal  means  a  supposed  civil  right. 

Digitized  by 



James  Percy,  doubtless,  failed  to  give  sufficient  legal  proof 
of  his  claim.  He  was  bom  in  1619,  and  was  the  son  of 
Henry  Percy,  who  was  the  third  son  of  Henry  Percy  of 
Pavenham ;  but  he  failed  to  prove  who  was  his  great  grand- 
father. The  tradition  of  his  family  was,  that  his  grandfather, 
a  younger  brother,  and  two  sisters  were,  *'  in  the  time  of  the 
troubles  in  Queen  Elizabeth's  days,  sent  from  the  north  in 
hampers  to  old  dame  Yane  in  Northamptonshire."  He  first 
claimed  as  his  great  grandfather  Sir  Richard  Percy,  fifth  son 
of  the  eighth  earl,  who,  however,  is  said  to  have  died  with- 
out issue  in  1648.  Finding  this  untenable,  he  changed  his 
ground,  and  asserted  that  his  grandfather  Henry  was  eldest 
son  of  Sir  Ingelram  Percy,  third  son  of  the  fifth  earl ;  but  it 
appears  from  Sir  Ingelram's  will,  that  he  was  never  married, 
and  left  only  one  illegitimate  daughter.  That  James  Percy, 
however,  was  a  descendant  of  the  great  northern  family  of 
Percys  is  exceedingly  probable,  if  not  certain.  He  and  his 
father  were  recognised  as  relations  by  the  three  last  earls  of 
Northumberland ;  and  he  asserts  that  Henry  the  tenth  earl, 
when  on  his  death-bed,  declared  that  James  Percy  would  be 
his  heir,  if  his  brother's  son  should  die.  One  curious  argu- 
ment James  Percy  used  in  support  of  his  descent :  in  his 
petition  he  says  "  that  he  was  born  into  the  world  with  a 
mole  like  a  half-moon  upon  his  body,  therefore  no  brand,  but 
it  signifies  a  crescent  which  belongs  to  the  Percy's  arms ; 
and  it  is  reported  that  he  is  not  the  first  that  hath  been  so 
bom  of  that  family."  Sir  Egerton  Brydges  remarks,  **  that 
there  was  a  good  deal  of  truth  mingled  up  with  his  claim." 
"  It  is  no  disproof,"  says  Surtees,  "  of  the  noble  descent  of  a 
person  in  humble  circumstances  that  he  himself  should  not 
always  have  known  the  precise  line  of  it."  Heralds  took  no 
notice  of  the  reduced  branches  of  a  family ;  no  inquisitions 
were  held  where  no  land  was  left ;  registers  were  imperfect 
and  not  taken  care  of;  and  wills  too  shared  a  similar  fate. 

The  manner  in  which  his  pretensions  were  resisted,  evi- 
dences a  consciousness,  on  the  part  of  his  antagonists,  of  the 
strength  of  his  claim,  for  as  Craik  remarks — 

"He  was  met  and  opposed  at  every  step  by  every  legal  expedi- 
ent, fair  and  unfair,  of  which  advantage  could  be  taken  for  that 
purpose.  The  array  of  powers  and  interests  banded  against  his 
claim  w^  also  unusually  formidable,  comprehending  as  it  did, 
not  only  311  the  recognised  chief  branches  of  the  Northumberland 
family,  the  heiress  of  the  Percys  and  her  ducal  husband,  and  the 
two  dowager  countesses,  her  mother  and  her  grandmother,  both 


Digitized  by 



extensively  connected  among  the  greatest  families  of  the  realm^ 
but  such  personages  of  very  highest  spheres  as  the  Duke  of 
Monmouth  and  the  new  Duke  of  Northimiberland,  the  king's 
sons,  with  their  royal  father  himself^  who  had  given  his  lands  to 
the  one  and  his  titles  to  the  other,  to  say  noth&g  of  sundry  less 
conspicuous  individuals  who  had  also  got  hold  of  propertyi  their 
possession  of  which  the  success  of  the  claim  might  endanger,  and 
some  of  whom,  Champion  and  Gee,  made  themselves  particularly 
busy  in  seeking  to  defeat  it,  and  were  so  circumstanced  as  to  be 
able  to  do  much  mischief."* 

Many  sneers  were  cast  against  The  Trunk-nmker^  as  if 
honest  industry  were  not  more  honourable  thau  even  titled 
idleness.  James  Percy  had  a  manly  regard  for  his  own 
occupation^  notwithstanding  his  pretensions  to  a  peerage ; 
"  T  was  a  trunk-maker  1  The  trade  is  good,  and  by  God's 
blessing  it  hath  given  me  bread  in  the  extremity  of  my 
travels,  till  I  obtained  the  merchandising  trade;  and  can 
make  my  three  sons  freemen  and  merchants  of  London, 
Dublin,  and  Norwich ;  and  have  likewise  trained  them  up 
to  handicrafts ;  so  that,  if  they  fail  in  the  mystery  of  mer- 
chandising, they  may,  with  God's  blessing,  live  upon  their 
ingenuity."  These  are  noble  sentiments,  worthy  of  any  heir 
to  an  earldom. 

This  long  and  unsuccessful  struggle  for  a  peerage  had  not 
it  would  seem  impoverished  his  family ;  for  we  find  that  his 
son  Anthony  was  lord  mayor  of  Dublin  in  1699,  was  knighted 
in  1700,  and  died  in  1704 ;  Sir  Anthony  Percy  left  three 
sons  and  a  daughter ;  and  it  is  supposed  that  some  of  their 
descendants  are  still  living. 


To  Elizabeth,  only  surviving  daughter  of  Josceline,  passed 
the  greater  part  of  the  Percy  estates,  but  not  the  earldom  of 
Northumberland.  She  was  born  on  the  26th  January,  1667, 
and  was  the  greatest  heiress  of  her  day.  In  consequence  of 
the  marriage  of  her  mother  to  the  honourable  Ralph  Mon- 
tague, the  guardianship  of  the  heiress  was  transferred  to 
her  grandmother,  the  old  dowager  countess,  widow  of  Earl 
Algernon ;  who,  exercising  her  authority  in  a  cold,  despotic, 
if  not  cruel  manner,  caused  Elizabeth  to  be  married,  when 
little  more  than  a  child,  to  Henry  Earl  Ogle,  heir  apparent 
to  the  duke  of  Newcastle,  towards  the  close  of  the  year  1679. 

•  Craik's  Romance  of  the  Peerage,  IV..  p.  319. 

Digitized  by 



He  died,  however,  in  November,  1680,  The  old  dowager 
was  not  long  in  forcing  another  match;  for,  setting 
aside  the  decent  etiquette  of  society,  she  caused  the  heiress 
to  marrv,  in  the  summer  or  autumn  of  1681,  Thomas  Thynn, 
of  Longleat,  one  of  the  richest  commoners  in  England,  who 
bore  the  sobriquet  of  ''Tom  of  Ten  Thousand."  This  match 
was  contrary  to  the  wish  of  Elizabeth,  who  had,  it  is  said, 
formed  an  attachment  to  Charles  John  Count  Kouiugsmark, 
a  Swedish  noble  of  distinction.  At  the  time  of  this  second 
marriage  the  count  was  abroad,  but  soon  after  his  return  to 
England  he,  by  the  basest  means,  revenged  his  loss.  Thynn, 
now  the  husband  of  Elizabeth,  was  late  on  Sunday,  the  12th 
of  February,  168S,  passing  in  his  coach  along  Pall  Mall, 
when  he  was  assassinated  by  three  ruffians,  who  had,  it  is 
confidently  believed,  been  hired  for  the  purpose  by  Count 
Koningsmark ;  all  were  arrested  and  tried;  the  three  ruffians 
were  condemned  and  executed,  but,  from  some  defect  in  the 
evidence,  the  count  was  acquitted. 

There  was  haste  again  in  leading  the  young  heiress 
to  the  altar.  She  was  but  fifteen  years  of  age  when  her 
second  husband  was  murdered;  and  yet  within  four 
months  of  that  event  she  married  her  third  husband,  Charles 
Seymour,  the  sixth  duke  of  Somerset,  on  the  30th  of  May, 
1682 — thus  uniting  the  two  notable  families  of  Seymour  and 
Percy.  The  duke  was  bound  by  the  marriage  contract  to 
assume  the  name  and  arms  of  Percy ;  but  of  this  condition 
Elizabeth,  when  she  came  of  age,  released  her  husband. 

Seymour  is  a  corruption  of  St.  Maur,  the  ancient  name  of 
the  family,  derived  from  St.  Maur  the  place  of  their  abode 
in  Normandy.  Edward  Seymour,  the  first  of  the  family 
raised  to  the  peerage,  was  created  viscount  Beauchamp  in 
1536,  earl  of  Hertford  in  1637,  baron  Seymour  of  Hache 
and  duke  of  Somerset  in  1547.  He  was  uncle  to  Edward 
IV.,  and  protector  and  governor  of  the  kingdom,  but  he 
shared  the  fate  of  others,  who  had  in  that  age  risen  to  great 
power,  and  was  beheaded  in  1552,  greatly  lamented  by  the 
people.  From  this  illustrious  man  the  husband  of  Elizabeth 
was  descended. 

The  rank  and  extensive  possessions  of  the  duke  gave  him 
some  political  importance  ;  but  his  pride,  capriciousness,  and 
defective  education  lessened  his  influence.  He  acted,  it  is  said, 
"more  by  humour  than  by  reason — ^he  was  rather  a  ministry- 
spoiler  than  a  minis  try -maker."  The  vain  and  fantastic  dis- 
play of  his  self-importance  made  him  ridiculous ;  and  obtained 

Digitized  by 



for  him  the  sobriquet  of  the  "  Proud  Duke  of  Somerset."  A 
characteristic  story  is  told  of  his  absurd  treatment  of  his 
second  wife,  when  she  familiarly  tapped  her  husband  on  the 
shoulder  with  her  fan,  he  started  and  angrily  exclaimed — 
"  Madam,  my  first  wife  was  a  Percy,  and  she  never  took  such 
a  liberty." 

Elizabeth,  the  duchess,  more  esteemed  than  her  husband, 
exercised  considerable  influence  over  Queen  Anne ;  and  held 
the  ofiices  of  groom  of  the  Stole  and  mistress  of  the  Robes. 
Onslow  said  **  she  was  in  all  respects  a  credit  and  ornament 
to  the  court ";  but  Dean  Swift,  regarding  her  as  the  great 
obstacle  to  the  ascendency  of  the  party  with  which  he  was 
connected,  said  she  was  a  most  insinuating  woman,  and  in  a 
malicious  satirical  poem.  The  Windsor  Prophecy,  he  pours, 
upon  her  the  vials  of  his  wrath ;  he  insinuated  that  she  was 
a  party  to  the  death  of  her  second  husband,  and  most  ungal- 
lantly  referring  to  her  red  hair,  says — "  Beware  of  Carrots 
from  Northumberland."  Such  malicious  insults  could  not 
be  forgiven,  and  the  duchess  had  her  revenge;  for  when  the 
bishoprick  of  Hereford  was  vacant,  the  chiefs  of  his  party, 
then  in  power,  sought  with  all  their  influence  to  confer  it  on 
Swift ;  but  so  bitterly  hostile  was  the  duchess,  that,  after  a 
scene  with  the  queen,  she  wrung  from  her  majesty  a  promise 
that  Swift  should  not  have  the  appointment. 

The  somewhat  unhappy  life  of  the  duchess  was  ended  on 
November  the  23rd,  1722,  in  the  fifty-sixth  year  of  her  age. 
Three  years  after  her  death,  the  duke  married  Lady  Charlotte 
Finch,  second  daughter  of  the  earl  of  Winchelsea  and  Not- 
tingham ;  he  died  on  the  2nd  of  December,  1748,  at  the 
advanced  age  of  eighty-seven. 

Elizabeth,  duchess  of  Somerset,  was  mother  of  seven  sons 
and  six  daughters ;  but  all  died  young,  excepting  one  son, 
Algernon,  and  three  daughters. 


Algernon,  the  only  surviving  son  of  the  duchess,  was  bom 
on  November  11th,  1684,  and  bore  the  title  of  earl  of  Hert- 
ford. When  still  a  minor,  he  was  returned  to  parliament  in 
1705  as  member  for  Marlborough  ;  and  he  served  as  knight 
of  the  shire  of  Northumberland  from  1708  to  1722.  The 
corporation  of  Alnwick  gave  him  their  support  at  the  elec- 
tions; and  among  the  corporate  archives  are  letters.from  him, 
thanking  the  chamberlains  and  the  rest  of  the  burgesses  for 

Digitized  by 


80MER8BT   FAMILY.  S09 

their  unanimous  support.  In  1708  he  served  under  Marl- 
borough in  the  campaign  in  Flanders ;  and,  in  the  following 
year,  he  was  engaged  at  the  taking  of  Toumay  and  in  the 
famous  battle  of  Malplaquet.  For  his  military  services,  he 
was  rewarded  with  a  colonelcy  and  the  governorship  of 
Tynemouth  and  Clifford  Fort.  On  the  death  of  his  mother, 
in  1722,  he  was  summoned  to  the  house  of  lords  as  baron 
Percy;  and  when  his  father  died,  in  1748,  he  became  duke  of 
Somerset.  Algernon,  when  Earl  Hertford,  married  Frances, 
daughter  of  the  Honourable  Henry  Thynne;  to  her  Thomson, 
the  poet,  dedicated  his  "  Spring."  George,  Viscount  Beau- 
champ,  their  only  son,  was  bom  on  September  the  11th, 
1725.  After  an  accomplished  education,  this  amiable  youth, 
desirous  of  improving  himself  by  travel,  left  England  in  1742, 
and  spent  the  two  last  years  of  his  short  life  in  visiting 
France,  Switzerland,  and  Italy ;  and  his  observations  during 
his  journey,  which  were  transmitted  to  his  family,  are  said 
to  have  afforded  proofs  of  uncommon  genius  and  solid  judg- 
ment. He  died  of  small  pox  at  Bologna,  on  July  the  22nd, 
1744,  at  the  early  age  of  nineteen  years.  A  daughter  only 
remained  to  inherit  the  honours  and  estates  of  the  family ; 
but  as  the  dukedom  of  Somerset  and  barony  of  Seymour  were 
limited  to  the  male  heirs  of  the  Protector  Somerset  by  his 
second  wife,  they  reverted,  in  accordance  with  limitations  of 
the  patent,  to  the  protector's  male  descendants  by  his  first 

The  daughter.  Lady  Elizabeth  Seymour,  having,  in  1740, 
married  Sir  Hugh  Smithson,  the  duke  of  Somerset,  soon  after 
his  accession  to  his  father's  titles,  made  new  arrangements 
for  the  transmission  of  his  honours  and  estates ;  and  therefore 
he  obtained  a  patent  from  the  king,  on  the  2nd  of  October, 
1749,  by  which  he  was  created  Baron  Warkworth,  of  Wark- 
worth  Castle,  and  earl  of  Northumberland,  with  remainder, 
failing  male  issue,  to  his  son-in-law.  Sir  Hugh  Smithson, 
and  to  his  heirs  male  by  Lady  Elizabeth,  his  wife.  On  the 
following  day,  by  another  patent,  he  was  created  baron  of 
Cockermouth  and  earl  of  Egremont  in  the  county  of  Cum- 
berland ;  but  these  titles  were  not  to  descend  to  his  daughter 
or  her  heirs,  but  to  his  nephew.  Sir  Charles  Wyndham, 
and  his  male  heirs. 

Soon  after  this,  the  duke  died  on  February  the  7th,  1750, 
and  was  buried  in  St.  Nicholas'  Chapel,  Westminster  Abbey. 

With  him  ends  the  short  reign  of  the  Seymours  over  Aln- 
wick.   None  of  them  resided  there;  and  the  old  Yescy  and 

Digitized  by 




Percy  castle  round  which  so  many  historical  associations 
clustered  was  suffered  to  become  ruinous.  Nevertheless, 
they  appear  to  have  dealt  kindly  with  the  town.  With  its 
freedom  of  action  they  seem  not  to  have  interfered;  no 
attempts  were  made  to  abridge  its  liberties  or  clutch  its  pro- 
perty;  duiing  this  period  it  attained  somewhat  of  importance 
and  was  prosperous,  shewing  how  the  interests  of  a  community 
are  best  promoted  by  the  free  and  natural  developement  of 
its  institutions,  its  commerce,  and  its  manufactures. 

no.  4.4. 


Digitized  by 



TOWN— FROM  1600  TO  1760. 


Reserving  detailed  accounts  of  the  corporation  and  of  the 
baronial  courts  for  subsequent  chapters^  I  purpose  here  to 
gather  scattered  notices  relating  to  the  town,  from  the  begin- 
ing  of  the  seventeenth  to  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century ; 
a  period  forming  a  peculiar  era  in  its  history.  With  the 
accession  of  James  I.,  Alnwick  ceases  to  possess  general 
historic  interest,  for  the  borders  were  no  longer  the  battle 
field  of  two  hostile  nations ;  and  during  the  succeeding  century 
and  a  half  the  barons  of  Alnwick  never  resided  at  the  castle, 
and  rarely  visited  it.  Being  left,  in  a  great  measure,  to  its 
own  resources  the  town  nevertheless  prospered,  and  became 
a  busy,  self-important,  and  somewhat  independent  community, 
till  towards  the  close  of  the  period  a  change  in  the  baronial 
dynasty  led  to  a  revolution  in  its  constitution  and  character. 

The  government  of  the  town  was  chiefly  exercised  by  four 
chamberlains  and  a  four  and  twenty  or  common  council, 
selected  out  ot  the  burgesses ;  but  both  the  burgesses  and 
the  governing  body  were  of  a  different  character  from  the 
present  corporation.  The  burgesses  were  proportionally  more 
numerous,  for  they  comprised  about  one-tenth  of  the  popula- 
tion, while  they  do  not  now  exceed  the  one-twentieth ;  the 
leading  merchants  and  professional  and  trading  men,  as  well 
as  artisans,  belonged  to  the  corporation ;  and  the  governing 

Digitized  by 



body,  consisting  of  firom  thirty  to  forty  of  the  principal 
inhabitants,  reflected  the  opinions  and  character  of  the  com- 
munity. A  PrtBpo8itu8y  provost  or  mayor,  there  was  in  the 
fifteenth  century,  but  to  him  there  is  no  sul^equent  reference ; 
a  bailiff,  however,  till  about  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth 
stood  at  the  head  of  corporate  officers. 

A  large  extent  of  propertv  belonged  to  the  burgesses  ;  be- 
sides the  great  moor  on  which  they  depastured  their  cattle, 
and  portions  of  which  they,  from  time  to  time,  enclosed, 
they  had  a  great  stretch  of  land  extending  from  near  the 
castle  walls  down  the  river  for  about  a  mile.  The  Market 
Place,  the  shambles,  the  cross,  the  stocks,  the  pillory,  the 
tolbooth,  the  clocks,  the  pants,  and  open  spaces  about  the 
town  either  belonged  to  them  or  were  under  their  control ; 
they  had  the  patronage  of  the  church,  and  the  ancient  Gram- 
mar School  was  theirs ;  they  worked  their  own  coal  min(»s, 
and  took  limestones,  sandstones,  and  slates,  to  build  and 
cover  their  houses,  out  of  their  own  quarries.  The  four  and 
twenty  acted  as  a  public  body,  to  whom  were  entrusted  the 
rights  and  privileges  of  the  community.  Jolly  men  they 
were,  fond  of  display,  hospitable,  even  sending  wine  to  the 
castle  to  treat  the  officers  of  the  lord  of  the  Manor ;  prodigal 
too  they  were  in  their  own  drinking,  when  they  transacted 
public  business ;  yet  we  could  almost  forgive  their  extrava- 
gance, on  account  of  the  independent  spirit  with  which  they 
frequently  acted.    This  was  the  golden  age  of  the  corporation. 

The  trade  of  the  town  was  considerable.  There  were  ten 
incorporated  companies;  of  these  the  merchants  were  the 
most  dignified,  though  not  most  numerous  body.  Tanning 
was  the  most  important  trade ;  in  1646,  there  were  twenty- 
two  tanneries  in  Alnwick,  while  now  there  is  only  one. 
Leather  at  that  time  was  used  for  various  articles  of  clothing, 
and  hence  the  skinners  and  glovers  were  the  most  numerous 
fellowship.  Weaving  was  a  thriving  trade ;  shoes  were  ex- 
tensively manufactured;  and  besides  these  there  were  fullers, 
coopers,  butchers,  wrights,  and  smiths.  The  skilled  artisans 
of  Alnwick  did  the  work  of  an  extensive  district;  the  town 
was  the  great  emporium  of  commerce  for  the  country  around, 
''being  in  the  middest  of  the  countrie  and  therefore  of  greatest 
repaire  and  concourse  of  people  ;"*  and  to  its  markets  and 
great  fairs  they  resorted  for  their  merchandise  of  every  kind. 

Sir  William  Brereton,  in  his  journey  through  Durham  and 

•  Petition  to  Lord  Burghley. 

Digitized  by 



Northumberland  in  1685,  gives  a  slight  notice  of  the  town 
and  castle. 

''June  24.  From  Morpeth  to  Anwicke  is  fourteen  miles, 
where  we  lodged  at  the  Postmaster's  house ;  6d.  ordinary  and 
good  victuals  and  lodging.  Here  we  saw  a  mighty  c€»de,  be- 
knging  to  the  Earl  of  Northumberland,  wherein  were  all  houses 
of  offices,  many  of  them  now  in  decay ;  but  my  Lord  is  reparing 
the  same  by  degrees.  Great  revenues  paid  to  him  out  of  thi^ 
coimtry ;  at  least  eight  horsload  of  money.  He  hath  four  castles 
i;^  this  country,  viz.,  this  castle,  Warp-weth  Oastle,  Tinmouth 
Oastle,  and  Frudhowe  Oastle. 

June  25.  We  lodged  at  the  Postmaster's  at  Anwick  last 
night,  where  we  were  weU  used ;  6d.  ordinary  supper,  and  4d. 
breakfast;  good  lodging  and  neat." 

In  the  year  1639,  Northumberland  became  the  scene  of 
some  of  the  early  movements  of  the  great  civil  war.  The 
attempt  of  Charles  I.  and  of  Archbishop  Laud  to  impose 
episcopacy  on  presbyterian  Scotland,  drove  the  Scots  to  take 
up  arms ;  and  Charles  advanced  with  an  army  into  Scotland 
"  to  chastise  his  rebellious  subjects."  Part  at  least  of  his 
forces  at  this  time  passed  through  Alnwick,  on  their  way  to 
the  entrenched  camp  at  Birks  or  West  Ord  on  the  Tweed, 
about  two  miles  westward  of  Berwick.  The  king  could  not 
effect  his  object,  and  was  obliged  to  conclude  a  treaty ;  but 
he  was  insincere,  and  grievances  were  not  redressed.  In  the 
following  year,  therefore,  the  Scottish  army,  consisting  of 
twenty  thousand  foot  and  two  thousand  five  hundred  horse, 
under  the  command  of  General  Lesley,  boldly  advanced  into 
England,  and  on  the  20th  of  August  crossed  the  Tweed  at 
Coldstream.  They  spent  the  first  night  at  Milfield,  the  next 
at  Wooler  Haugh ;  the  following  day  being  Sunday,  they 
marched,  after  sermon,  to  Branton,  and  on  the  next  day 
encamped  on  a  hill  between  the  old  and  new  towns  of 
Eglingham ;  on  the  27th  of  August  they  reached  Newburn 
on  the  Tyne,  where  the  river  was  fordable.  The  king's  army 
was  encamped  on  Stella  Haugh,  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Tyne,  and  was  attacked  by  the  Scots  on  the  28th  and 
completely  routed.  Newcastle  surrendered  to  the  Scots  on 
the  Sunday  following ;  and  the  officers,  we  are  told,  "  dined 
with  the  mayor,  drunk  a  health  to  the  king,  and  had  three 
sermons  that  day  from  their  own  divines."  Of  the  four 
northern  counties  the  Scots  were  now  masters ;  and  their 
conduct,  contrasted  with  the  wild,  lawless,  plundering  habits 
of  a  former  generation,  afforded  a  pleasing  proof  of  their 



Digitized  by 



advance  in  civilisation.  They  refused  to  act  on  the  offer  of 
the  king  to  make  assessments  themselves,  as  this  might  have 
the  appearance  of  plundering;  they  received,  however,  by 
treaty,  £850  per  day  for  their  maintenance. 

In  the  military  movements  of  the  year  1644,  Alnwick  was 
more  directly  interested.  The  conflict  between  constitutional 
government  and  absolute  rule  had  been  removed  from  parlia- 
ment to  the  battle-field.  Northumberland  appears  generally 
to  have  been  attached  to  the  royal  cause  ;  but  two  influential 
Northumbrians  took  the  side  of  the  pailiament — the  Earl  Percy 
of  Northumberland  and  Lord  Grey,  of  Wark,  who  acted  as  a 
commissioner  to  invite  the  Scots  to  aid  in  the  stru^le.  A 
Scottish  army  of  18,000  foot,  2,000  horse  and  1,000  dragoons 
effective,  with  a  train  of  artillery,  under  the  command  of  the 
earl  of  Leven,  advanced  in  January  1644  towards  England. 
On  the  18th  several  regiments  marched  from  Dunbar  and  the 
adjacent  villages,  through  a  heath  ten  miles  long  to  Berwick, 
amidst  a  snow  storm.  Three  regiments  of  foot  and  thirteen 
troops  of  horse,  marched  on  the  19th  from  Berwick  to  Adder- 
stone  in  Northumberland,  where  the  commander  had  estab- 
lished his  head  quarters ;  and  here  were  assembled  with  him 
the  committee  of  both  kingdoms.  The  king's  party  had  but 
two  regiments  of  foot  and  six  troops  of  horse  to  meet  this 
formidable  army;  oi>e  regiment  was  at  Wooler  under 
Colonel  Francis  Anderson,  and  the  remainder  were  at  Alnwick 
commanded  by  Sir  Thomas  Glenham.  The  committee  to- 
wards night  sent  a  trumpeter  to  Sir  Thomas  Glenham, 
Colonel  Grey,  and  the  rest  of  the  officers  and  gentlemen  at 
Alnwick,  the  head  quarters  of  the  royal  force ;  and  on  the 
22nd,  the  gentlemen  of  Northumberland  met  there  to  de- 
liberate, what  course  to  take.  Sir  Thomas  Glenham  pro- 
pounded to  them  these  three  questions :  1st — what  should  be 
done  with  those  places  of  the  county  which  were  not  yet  in 
the  possession  of  the  Scots,  and  which  they  were  not  able  to 
protect  ?  2nd — ^what  answer  should  be  given  to  the  letter  of 
the  two  committees  ?  8rd — whether  they  should  fight  with 
the  Scots  army  ?  On  the  first  question  they  were  divided ; 
the  Yorkshire  officers  thinking  it  most  expedient,  that  the 
country  should  be  burnt,  wasted,  and  destroyed ;  but  the 
Northumberland  officers  and  gentlemen  were  opposed  to  this, 
saying,  ''  that  they  had  hazarded  their  lives  and  fortunes,  as 
well  as  others,  and  they  would  take  this  for  a  small  recom- 
pence  of  their  labours  to  have  their  country  wasted  and 
spoiled."    To  the  second  question,  the  committee  also  gave 

Digitized  by 



different  answers ;  some  thinking  it  fittest  to  send  a  fair 
answer  to  so  fair  a  letter ;  others  that  it  could  not  be  answered 
by  them,  but  must  be  sent  to  the  earl  of  Newcastle ;  and 
a  third  party  was  of  opinion  that  it  must  be  sent  to  his 
Majesty  before  any  answer  could  be  returned.  On  the  third 
question,  *'  they  were  unanimous,  declining  by  all  means  to 
fight,  yet  with  resolution  to  come  off  with  some  credit,  and 
with  these  sixteen  troops  of  horse  and  two  regiments  of  foot, 
which  they  have  at  Alnwick,  some  eight  drakes  and  twenty 
pieces  of  ordnance  (which  they  had  from  a  Dutch  Flee-boat, 
that  run  ashore  near  the  place),  to  defend  the  Bridge,  though 
they  well  knew  the  town  may  be  invaded  at  any  other  place.** 

Other  regiments  from  Berwick  and  Kelso  had  joined  the 
Scottish  general,  and  his  artillery  had  arrived  by  sea  on  the 
evening  of  the  22nd.  He  sent  orders  to  his  lieutenant 
general,  who  was  about  uine  or  ten  mile?  from  Alnwick,  to 
meet  him  there  on  Tuesday  forenoon,  (the  25th),  intending, 
as  he  says,  "  by  God's  assistance  *'  to  find  quarters  in  New- 
castle on  the  27th.  The  royalists  made  but  a  poor  show  of 
fighting ;  they  abandoned  Alnwick  on  the  approach  of  the 
Scots,  designing  to  make  a  stand  at  Felton  ;  but  the  Scottish 
horse  advancing  before  they  could  cut  down  the  bridge  over 
the  Coquet,  they  were  obliged  to  flee  to  Morpeth,  whence 
they  soon  proceeded  to  Newcastle.  The  snow  suddenly  began 
to  melt  on  the  26th,  and  so  flooded  the  roads,  that  the  Scottish 
foot  soldiers  in  their  march  were  sometimes  up  to  their  mid- 
dles ;  and  so  exhausted  were  they  on  arriving  at  Morpeth, 
that  they  were  compelled  to  rest  for  five  days.  A  party  de- 
tached from  the  main  army  at  xilnwick  under  the  marquis  of 
Argyle,  attacked  the  fort  on  Coquet  Island,  but  after  the  dis- 
charge of  the  first  shot  the  governor  with  seventy  officers  and 
soldiers  surrendered ;  seven  pieces  of  ordnance  and  a  quantity 
of  ammunition  were  also-taken.  On  the  3rd  of  February  the 
Scottish  host  appeared  before  Newcastle ;  but  this  town  made 
a  gallant  and  for  some  time  successful  defence. 

In  aid  of  the  royal  cause  the  marquis  of  Montrose  entered 
Scotland  on  April  13th,  1644,  with  the  Cumberland  and 
Westmoreland  Militia,  and  three  troops  of  horse.  After 
taking  Dumfries  he  became  afraid  of  being  cut  off  by  the 
Covenanters,  and  retraced  his  steps ;  but  determined  not  to 
be  altogether  inactive,  he  resolved  to  join  the  royal  forces  in 
Durham  and  Northumberland — a  resolution  "neither  dis- 
honourable to  himself  nor  unprofitable  to  them."  He  drove  a 
garrison  of  the  Covenanters  out  of  Morpeth  and  took  the 

Digitized  by 



Castle,  and  gave  the  pillage  to  his  Ei^lish  soldiers ;  he  dis* 
missed  the  garrison  on  condition  of  their  never  again  drawing 
a  sword  against  the  king.  He  next  took  the  fort  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Tyne ;  and  afterwards  plentifully  supplied  New- 
castle with  corn  from  Alnwick  and  other  places  thereabouts. 
After  these  successes  he  was  summoned  to  the  help  of  Prince 
Bupert ;  but,  notwithstanding  the  despatch  he  made,  he  did 
not  come  up  with  the  prince,  till  the  day  after  the  battle  of 
Marston  Moor.*  Fairfax's  forces  now  joined  the  Scots  in  the 
siege  of  Newcastle,  which  being  unable  to  hold  out  against 
so  formidable  an  array  surrendered  on  the  20th  of  October  ; 
and  the  county  of  Northumberland  came  again  under  the 
power  of  Parliament. 

The  trumpeter  sent  by  the  Scottish  general  to  Alnwick  was 
hospitably  treated  by  the  corporation ;  the  accounts  for  1645 
state,  "  paid  for  a  bottle  of  sack  of  Major  General  Lesley 
Trumpeter  2s.  8d."  Scottish  soldiers  had  now  possession 
of  the  town  and  some  of  them  were  billeted  in  the  neighbour- 
ing village.  One  party  was  located  at  Denwick,  and  they 
had  seriously  misconducted  themselves ;  for  there  is  entered  in 
the  accounts  "  Item  bestowed  of  the  officers  that  went  against 
the  Denwick  soldiers,  they  had  burnt  all  Walkergate  4s." 
besides  this  we  find  "  one  pottle  of  mulled  sack  bestowed  on 
Colonel  Wildon."  To  maintain  the  Scots  army  in  1641,  assess- 
ments were  made  in  the  northern  counties ;  £300  were  raised 
from  Northumberland,  £300  from  Durham  and  £200  from 
Newcastle.  At  a  later  date,  1645  or  thereabouts,  similar  assess- 
ments were  made,  for  we  find  monies  were  borrowed,  amount- 
ing to  £9  7s.  Od,  by  the  corporation  from  several  persons,  to* 
pay  "Major  Hume*s  assessments."  In  the  following  year 
there  were  paid  5s  for  a  baggage  horse  for  Captain  Bee's 
company,  and  6s.  8d.  to  John  Scott  for  quartering  soldiers. 
Something  was  done  to  the  defences  of  the  town ;  for  in  1641, 
there  was  paid  for  making  the  town's  gate  12s.  4d ;  and  the 
gate  of  the  castle  was  also  repaired  by  the  corporation. 

While  the  king  was  a  prisoner  in  the  Isle  of  Wight,  there 
was,  to  a  certain  extent,  a  reaction  in  his  favour  in  the 
country;  several  insurrections  broke  out  against  parlia- 
mentary government^  and  an  army  of  Scotsmen  under  Lord 
Hamilton  agreed  to  act  with  the  royalists  of  England ;  but 
these  formidable  combinations  were  defeated  through  the 
vigour  and  skill  of  Cromwell.     Major  Sanderson  in  a  letter 

*  Wiftbart**  Memoirs  of  MontrosCi  p.  30. 

Digitized  by 



dated  July  Srd  1648^  gives  an  account  of  what  Was  done  in 
the  district  around  Alnwick. 

'<  We  hasted  away  on  the  night  of  Friday^  SOth  June,  and 
marched  16  miles  from  Hexham  to  Harterton;  and  thence  to 
ToBson,  I  had  the  command  of  the  forlorn  hope  (of  two  troops), 
the  first  towne  we  fell  into  was  Tosson,  where  wee  tooke  a  heu- 
tenant  and  six  of  his  dragooDs,  all  in  hed,  the  next  towne  was 
Lurbottle,  where  we  took  60  hoise  and  60  men,  all  in  bed.  The 
next  quarter  was  Oarhle  where  Ool  Qrey,  Lieut  Salkeld,  and 
many  others  were  taken,  with  80  horse.  The  next  quarter  was 
Whittingham,  where  lieut  Ool  Millet,  and  many  other  consider- 
able men  with  200  horse ;  the  next  was  at  one  time  an  engage- 
ment upon  Eslington,  where  were  100  horse  at  Olanton,  in 
Glanton  were  180  horse,  most  of  them  taken,  with  the  officers 
and  souldiers  in  that  quarter.  At  EsHngton,  Sir  Bich  Tempest, 
Major  Troulop,  and  many  others.  Wee  advanced  towards  Bran- 
ton,  but  finding  that  we  were  cloyed  with  prisoners  and  horse, 
and  booty,  we  retyred  towards  Whittingham,  where  Col  Lilbume 
was  labouring  to  rally  into  a  firme  body,  for  there  appeared  about 
Shawton,  foiur  bodies  of  the  enemies  horse,  who  had  taken  alarme, 
and  got  together,  but  all  the  rest  we  tooke  before  they  could 

"  The  victory  was  beyond  all  expectation,  God  working  it  for 
us.  We  had  but  one  horse  shot  dead,  and  one  man  shot  through 
the  thigh,  and  of  the  enemy  there  was  five  slaine,  and  Cap  Smith 
run  through  the  body,  and  some  others  wounded."* 

The  contentions  of  the  period  pressed  heavily  on  the  town 
as  is  shewn  by  the  following  document  in  the  corporate 
archives ;  the  date  is  about  1650,  for  I  find  all  the  names 
attached,  save  two,  were  members  of  the  four  and  twenty 
in  the  year  1649  : — 

"  To  the  right  worshipful  the  deputy  lieutennants  of  Northum- 
berland, The  humble  Peticion  of  the  Burgesses  and  Inhabitants 
of  Alnewicke,  Sheweth, 

That  your  peticioners  having  layed  up  on  them  a  charge  (firom 
the  worshipful  Oomittee)  for  the  advancing  of  three  horse  and 
six  men  out  of  this  poore  towne  for  the  present  servyce,  the 
which  we  are  willing  to  our  abilityes.  But  we  have  and  are  now 
at  this  instant  sore  opprest  with  a  heavy  burthen  lying  upon  us 
of  horse  and  foote  and  our  groundes  destroyed  without  any  hope 
of  recovery  for  this  yeare  and  small  expectacion  for  paying  of 
quarters.  And  this  charge  for  advance  of  horse  and  men  your 
peticioners  conceive  can  amoimt  to  no  less  than  £26,  which  is  a 
great  some  to  such  a  poor  distressed  place  and  people. 

*  Richardso^'r  Repriuts. 

Digitized  by 



Your  peticioners  humbly  pray  you  mil  be  pleased  to  take  the 
premises  into  your  grave  consideracions  for  the  ease  of  your 
peticioners  as  in  your  wisdomes  you  shall  think  befitting  and 
your  peticioners  shall  pray  &c. 

Thomas  Salkeld,  John  Gallon,  Launcelott  Scott,  Thomas 
Younger,  Ohamberlynes ;  Bobert  Watson,  bailifTe ;  William 
Hunter,  Hugh  Arrowsmith,  Nicholas  Forster,  Arthur  Arrow- 
smith,  Kichard  Wydows,  Henry  Preaston,  Thomas  Hunter." 

'<In  consideration  of  the  great  burden  the  said  Towne  lyes 
under  for  the  present  we  are  content  they  be  freed  of  one  hors 
of  the  three  they  are  charged  withall,  and  the  other  two  horses 
are  to  be  raised  up  of  the  ablest  of  the  Towne,  the  poorer  sort  to 
be  spared  and  the  care  of  this  is  referred  to  Maior  Sanderson. 
Francis  Heselrigge,  Balph  Delayal,  Henry  Ogle." 

The  outburst  of  joy  which  hailed  the  restoration  of  Charles 
II.  seems  to  have  been  but  a  temporary  feeling.  Heavy  taxes 
were  imposed  distasteful  to  the  people,  who  were  the  more 
deeply  grieved  because  no  little  of  the  money  wrung  from 
them  was  practically  wasted.  A  curious  deposition  in  the 
castle  of  York  shews  the  existence  of  such  discontent  in  Aln- 

"  Oct.  21,  1664.  At  Eock  before  John  Salkeld  and  Jo.  Clarke, 
Esq.,  Thomas  Busby,  of  Alnwicke,  saith  that  on  the  12th  of 
August,  being  walking  in  company  of  Henry  Elder,  of  Alnwicke, 
and  saying,  what  can  become  of  all  the  money,  that  was  collected 
in  the  country  ?  the  said  Henry  replied,  '  What  should  become 
of  it  ?  There  was  non  to  destroy  it  but  a  company  of  ranting 
fellows ;  and  for  his  Majesty  hee  had  taken  up  the  bones  of  an 
honester  man  than  himselfe,  and  in  his  thoughts  there  would  be 
noe  quietness  till  hee  went  the  way  his  father  went.'  " 

TVain  bands  were  in  the  time  of  Charles  II.  raised  for  the 
defence  of  the  kingdom ;  and  every  township  had  to  contri- 
bute proportionally  to  their  maintenance.  The  borough  of 
Alnwick  including  Hobberlaw  was  required  to  set  forth  six 
footmen ;  and  on  the  chamberlains  and  the  four  and  twenty 
of  the  town  devolved  the  duty  of  making  and  collecting  rates 
for  this  purpose  from  the  houses,  lands  and  farms.* 

Frequent  references  there  are  in  the  corporate  accounts  to 
these  train  bands  ;  in  1679  there  were  20s.  paid  for  procuring 
men  for  train  bands  and  finding  arms;  when  the  train  band  men 
went  to  Morpeth  in  1683,  they  received  4s.  6d. ;  for  two  mus- 
kets 19s.  6d.  were  paid;  and  in  the  same  year  the  chamberlains 

•  The  earliest  rate  book  preserved  is  dated  17th  March,  1671,  and  as  it  is 
curious  and  important,  if  space  allow,  it  will  be  giren  in  the  Appendix. 

Digitized  by 



acknowledged  the  receipt  of  the  towns  arms,  yiz.,  four 
moskets,  Uiree  coats,  and  four  pair  of  bandyliers/*  An 
assessment  made  in  1690,  which  was  three  times  the  amount 
of  that  in  1671  shows  the  relative  importance  of  the  different 
wards ;  "  Bongatt  ward  provided  £2  6s,  11  Jd.,  Markett  ward 
£2  28.  lOJd.,  Narrowgatt  ward  £1  Is.  4d.,  Bailefgate  ward 
lis.  lOd.,  Walkegatt  5s.  9d.  and  Clayport  9s.  4d.,  in  all 
£6  19s.  Id."  The  four  and  twenty  on  March  25th  1696, 
"  ordered  a  cess  of  Is.  6d.  in  the  £  for  troffy  moneys  and  re- 
pairing and  buying  swords  and  musketts  and  repaying  the 
money  that  was  paid  for  setting  out  four  men.'*  The  town's 
magazine  of  arms  was  far  from  being  extensive ;  "  On  March 
2nd  1702  there  were  delivered  to  Mr.  Baron  Falder  A  Sword 
Coat  and  Gun  without  a  Ramrod  belonging  to  the  Town;  to 
Mr.  Mark  Forster  one  Sword,  two  Coats  and  one  Gun  and  a 
Lock ;  to  Mr  Tho.  Woodhouse  1  Coat,  Gun  and  Sword  and 
Cartridge  box.  To  Luke  Hymers  one  Gun  and  one  Sword." 
Such  was  the  sorry  provision  for  the  defence  of  the  kingdom. 
The  great  naturalist,  John  Ray,  when  on  one  of  his 
"  Simpling  Voyages"  passed  through  the  town  in  1661,  and 
thus  chronicles  his  visit — 

**  August  the  I5th  we  travelled  from  Newcastle  through  Mor- 
peth to  Alnwick  twenty-six  miles,  which  town  is  imder  a  bailiff; 
every  trade  chooses  an  alderman;  the  chief  trade  is  tanning. 
Here  we  saw  a  goodly  and  strong  castle,  well  walled,  and  not 
yet  much  run  to  decay,  belonging  to  the  earl  of  Northumberland. 
This  country  is  thinly  inhabited,  very  bleak,  and  barren."* 

We  have  notice  of  both  Alnwick  and  Morpeth  in  1664 
from  Marmaduke  Rawdon,  of  York,  who  had  been  a  merchant 
in  London,  and  after  a  successfiil  business  career  took  delight 
in  travelling ;  the  accounts  of  his  journies  give  good  sketches 
of  domestic  life  and  manners. 

"1664.  From  Newcastle  they  went  that  night  (27th  August) 
to  a  towne  of  16  mile  off,  called  Morpeth,  a  large  towne  where 
they  rested  that  night,  and  the  next  day  Sunday.  Itt  haith  a 
church,  a  prison,  the  ruines  of  a  castle  belonginge  to  my  Lord  of 
GarlQe,  wUc^  the  Scotch  mind  in  thesse  warrs,  and  a  free  scoole 
with  a  chiilmey  in  itt,  where  the  boyes  have  a  fire  all  the  winter 
longe,  each  boy  brinein^  a  horse  loode  of  coales,  which  thir 
costs  3  pence.    Close  by  itt  runna  the  river  Wents-becke. 

Monday  the  29th  August,  they  went  to  an  ancient  towne  called 
Anwick,  where  they  dined ;  itt  haith  tow  faire  gates  of  free  stone, 

«  Memorials  of  Bay,  p.  150. 

Digitized  by 



Irhioh  shews  itt  haith  bene  some  ihinge  in  former  times,  but  now 
the  bowses  are  all  tbactht  and  soe  contemtible  little,  that,  like 
the  citie  of  Hindus,  the  towne  may  easely  run  thorrow  the  gates; 
here  is  a  fiftire  stronge  castle,  which  makes  a  greate  shew  to  the 
country,  but  ill  contrived  within  for  lodgins.  It  belonges  to  my 
Lord  of  Northumberland  whose  Auditor  comes  thir  twice  a  yeare, 
sitts  to  order  busnisses,  and  to  receive  his  rents."* 

Thomas  Kirke,  of  Corbridge,  in  his  journeyings  in  the 
north  of  England,  thus  records  his  visit  in  1677 — 

''Monday,  21  May.  At  night  we  got  to  Alnwick  where  is  a 
very  great  castle  and  some  part  of  it  in  repair.  A  little  from  the 
town  up  the  river  is  an  Abbey,  where  Sir  Fopling  lives;  we 
waited  in  the  Abbey  an  hour  before  he  made  his  appearance ; 
we  ^rank  a  glass  or  two  of  wine  with  him  and  left  him  as  we 
found  him." 

Sir  Fopling  was  Robert  Brandling,  a  descendant  of  Sir 
Francis  Brandling  and  proprietor  of  Alnwick  Abbey.  He 
along  with  John  Salkeld  possessed  the  tithes  of  Felton  in 

The  notice  of  the  town  by  Ralph  Thoresby  in  1681  is  more 
important,  as  it  shews  that  the  walls  of  the  town  were  then 
in  existence.  He  was  a  woollen  draper,  an  antiquary,  and 
the  historian  of  Leeds;  he  had  property  at  Rock,  which 
caused  him  occasionally  to  visit  the  district. 

"Over  the  moors"  says  he,  "from  Morpeth  to  Alnwick,  an 
ancient  town  fortified  wilh  a  curious  castle  and  an  old  wall.  By 
Rock  where  I  found  the  old  tenants  repenting  their  unkind  feel- 
ings, and  continual  murmurings  for  abatements,  which  hastened 
the  sale  of  the  estate,  and  now  they  would  gladly  have  the  same 
lands  at  the  ordinary  advancement." 

Many  offices  in  the  castle  were  in  decay  in  1635^  but 
the  earl  was  then  repairing  them  by  degrees.  These  restora- 
tions, however,  had  only  been  partial,  being  probably  inter- 
rupted by  the  great  civil  war ;  and  although  the  residence  of 
the  baronial  officials,  it  became  still  more  ruinous.  So  little 
valued  indeed  was  this  great  stronghold,  that  we  find  from 
the  corporation  records,  some  part  of  it  was  used  a^  a  common 

*  We  have  a  curious  account  of  the  state  of  Belford  in  1639,  wbich  says— 
"  Bel  fort  nothing  like  the  name  either  in  strength  or  beauty  is  the  most  miserable 
beggarly  sodden  town  or  town  of  sods  that  ever  was  made  in  an  afternoon  of  loaqi 
and  Btioks.  In  all  the  town  not  a  loaf  of  bread,  nor  a  quart  of  beer,  nor  a  lock  of 
hay,  nor  a  peek  of  oats,  and  little  shelter  for  horse  or  man.'*— GMfrf  and  Timsa  of 
Charles  L,IL,p,2S6. 

Digitized  by 


Digitized  by 



school  in  1691 ,  when ''  Mr.  Mathew  Wood  lately  discharged 
from  our  free  Schole  and  out  of  contempt  have  sett  up  Schole 
in  Alnwick  Castle.'*  Of  the  appearance  and  state  of  the 
castle  at  this  period  we  can  form  an  opinion  from  a  drawing 
by  Buck  in  17S8,  of  which  a  reduced  copy  is  given  in  Plate 


Jolly  men,  as  we  have  said,  were  the  authorities  of  the 
town  in  these  days ;  and  diligent  in  seizing  on  public  events 
as  occasions  for  indulgence  in  drinking,  feasting,  and  uproari- 
ous enjoyment.  When  a  protector  was  proclaimed  or  a  king 
crowned,  when  royal  birth  days  came  round,  when  battles 
were  won,  when  thanksgiving  days  and  gunpowder  plot  days 
recurred,  they  must  enjoy  themselves ;  there  must  be  ale  and 
wine  and  strong  waters  to  drink — gunpowder  to  blaze  away 
— cannons  to  roar — tar  barrels  to  be  burnt — ^music  played 
and  tobacco  smoked.  Like  the  vicar  of  Bray  they  had  one 
unvarying  creed ;  whoever  was  king  and  whatever  occurred 
they  must  be  joUy.  Though  modest  in  amount  at  first,  these 
indulgences  readied  a  pitch  of  extragavance  towards  the 
middle  of  the  eighteenth  century. 

When  the  protector  was  proclaimed  on  September  the  12th 
1658,  there  was  disbursed  for  wine  10s.  What  rejoicings 
there  were  when  Charles  II.  "  came  to  his  own  "  are  not  re 
corded ;  but  in  1665,  8s.  l)d.  were  ''paid  at  Edward  Smith's 
for  wine  and  her  beinge  upon  the  Kings  coronation  day ;" 
and  the  same  event  was  celebrated  on  die  following  day  by 
drinking  *'  wine  and  strong  waters  "  and  by  pipes  and  tobacco. 
In  1665  one  shilling  was  paid  for  ''  drink  at  Betinge  the  hol- 
landers ;"  and  when  peace  was  proclaimed  in  1674  the  re- 
joicing cost  only  6s.  8d.  James  II.  seems  to  have  been  a 
favourite ;  at ''  the  proclaiming  our  Soverign  Lord  James  the 
Second "  on  February  14th,  1684,  there  were  48  bottles  of 
wine  drunk  costing  £8  ISs.  Od.;  and  ''  more  the  next  day  to 
the  Sheriff  6  Bottles  7s.,  and  more  four  Bottels  of  Wine  to 
Mr.  Beach  4s.  8d.''  Wine  then  cost  only  14d.  per  bottle. 
*'  At  the  Crownacon  day  "  of  the  king  in  1688  the  rejoicings 
were  demonstrative— -aie  and  brandy  were  drunk — ale  was 
riven  away  at  the  cross  to  the  soldiers,  constables,'and  popu- 
hce — ^music  was  playing — guns  were  fired  and  ^^aboonfire'* 
was  blazing  in  the  Market-place. 

King  William  III.  seems  to  have  been  no  great  favourite, 
judging  from  the  meagre  rejoicings  with  which  his  advent 
was  hailed.  For  ale  at  the  cross  in  1689  '^at  the  king 
and  <iueen's  coronation  day  "  only  8s.  4d.  were  paid.      The 


Digitized  by 



gunners,  howeyer,  had  ale  to  the  value  of  48.  4d.-;  and  there 
were  two  runlets  of  ale  at  the  cross  for  the  soldiers,  costing 
5s.  5d. :  besides  this  "  a  boonfire  **  lighted  up  the  scene. 
Englishmen,  however,  exult  when  their  countrymen  gain  a 
victory ;  and  the  corporate  pulse  beat  vigorously,  when  news 
came  of  William's  military  triumphs.  Captain  Forster,  in 
1690,  was  treated  with  ale  at  Mr.  George  Salkeld's  "  upon 
the  news  of  the  defeat  of  the  Irish  "  at  the  cost  of  6s. ;  and 
the  bells  rung  for  joy  at  the  victory.  A  little  afterwards,  we 
have  entered — 

1690. — Spent  when  the  King  came  home  1^,  Tar  Bairells  Is.  8d., 

Pips  and  Towbco  7d.      .  .  .  .  .     1  10 

Bobeort  Hmnbleton  for  Ale  .  .IS 

Ale  at  the  bone  fire  when  King  William  came  home         .    1    S 
Att  the  same  time  2  Tar  BarreUs     .  .  .  .IS 

Tobacco  Pipes  .05 

When  news  arrived  of  peace  on  October  82nd,  1697,  S  tar 
barrels  were  used;  and  on  its  being  proclaimed,  five  more 
''  to  make  a  bonfire,"  with  '^  2  bottles  of  brandy  and  musick 
then."  Such  records  were  frequent :  a  few  more,  after  the 
accession  to  the  throne  of  the  house  of  Hanover,  may  be  added. 

I718.—0ct.  22.--Paid  for  Ale  att  the  King's  landing  to  James 
Batt  3s.  4d.,  to  my  Mother  Grey  3s.  id.,  at  Mia.  Bobson's 
in  the  Beckoning  Ss.  6d.,  Binging  the  Bells  Is.,  Musick 
2s.  6d.  .  .  7^      .  .  .  IS    8 

1714.— Oct  20.— Att  GoxTonation  S  barles  Ss.,  Musick  2s.  6d.,  Ale 
at  bone  fire  56.  4d.,  Ale  from  William  Stanton  6s.  Sd.,  3 
barles  38.  .  .  .  .  20    6 

1713.— May  5.— Ale  at  proclaiming  the  peace  5s.,  ale  at  the  Gross 

6s.       .  ...  .  .  .'  .  10    0 

1714.— July.— Ale  when  the  King  irasprodaimed.  .  .OS 

Regularly  as  Thanksgiving  day  and  Gunpowder  Plot  day 
came  round  there  were  rejoicings.  In  1697  on  Thanksgivii^ 
day,  there  were  paid  for  8  tar  barrels  for  the  bonfire  Ss.  6d., 
for  2  quarts  of  brandv  4s.  8d.,  tobacco  and  pipes  6d.,  ringing 
bells.,  Is.,  for  musick  Ss.  6d.  and  for  ale  drunk  at  the  cross 
12s.  8d.  Similar  rejoicings  were  on  Gunpowder  Plot  day. 
These  celebrations  ceased  about  the  vear  1718.  StiU,  frequent 
as  all  these  merrv  makings  were,  tney  do  not  rive  a  complete 
picture  of  the  jollity  of  the  times ;  others  will  be  referred  to 
when  we  treat  of  the  corporation. 

Let  us  now  see  what  part  the  town  played  during  the  two 
rebellions  in  favour  of  the  exiled  Stuarts.  Very  scanty  are  the 
local  references  to  the  events  of  1715;  ana  this  is  to  be 
regretted,  as  the  early  operations  were  in  this  neighbour- 
h(Md.    Thomas  Forster,  of  Adderstone,  one  of  the  members  of 

Digitized  by 



parliament  for  the  county,  bat  a  man  of  little  capacity  or  cour- 

3:e,  was  the  first  mover  in  this  attempt  to  drive  the  house  of 
anover  from  the  throne.  On  the  6th  of  October,  Forster 
with  others  favourable  to  the  Stuart  cause  met  at  Greeniig 
in  Northumberland;  and  bein^  afterwards  joined  by  the 
earl  of  Derwentwater  with  his  fhends  and  servants,  the  party 
marched  to  Rothbury,  where  they  remained  all  night,  and  on 
the  next  day  with  increased  numbers  they  marched  to  Wark- 
worth,  where  they  remained  till  Monday  the  10th.  Forster 
here  assumed  the  title  of  general,  which  had  been  bestow^ 
on  him  by  the  earl  of  Mar ;  and  on  Sunday  he  ordered  Mr. 
Ion,  the  vicar,  to  pray  for  Charles  Stuart,  as  king,  and  for 
Mary,  the  queen  mother ;  but  the  vicar  refusing,  Mr.  Buxton, 
the  chaplain  of  the  rebels,  took  possession  of  the  church,  read 
the  service,  prayed  for  Charles  Stuart  as  king,  and  preached 
with  coDsidenible  eloquence  and  learning  in  favour  of  the 
Stuart  cause.  On  Monday  General  Forster  in  disguise  pro- 
claimed from  the  cross  of  that  ancient  borough,  by  sound  of 
trumpet  and  other  formalities,  Charles  Stuart  as  king  of 
Britain.  The  rebels  then  marched  to  Morpeth,  where  joined 
by  other  malcontents,  the  party  increased  to  the  number  of 
800  horsemen. 

The  men  of  Alnwick  were  loyal ;  and  the  accounts  shew 
that  they  were  watchful,  and  prepared  to  take  part  in  the 
struggle,  on  the  side  of  the  house  of  Hanover.  We  have  the 
following  entries : — 

'<  1715,  Oct.,  paid  when  the  watch  was  set  Is.;  to  Games  about 
the  rebels  4s.  4d. ;  to  Standley  for  his  horse  to  Berwick  with 
priaoners  3s. ;  to  Games  to  gett  Intelidgenoe  of  rebels  4b.  ;  to 
William  Anderson  when  he  went  about  InteUigence  Is. ;  paid 
Garen  and  Hindmarsh  for  enquiring  about  the  Bebells  3s  6d ; 
ale  to  them  8d. ;  to  Gair  and  Johnston  for  watching  the  town 
16d.  and  ale  4d. ;  for  canying  the  Deserters  to  Barwicke  2s.  4d.; 
Goals,  Candle,  and  Straw  to  the  Guard  4s.  6d. ;  Mr  Stephenson 
for  getting  our  Townes  Arms  examined  5s. ;  spent  at  Bickaby's 
with  Mr.  Forster  and  Mr.  Ghieve  when  wee  mett  aboutt  train 
Band  Men  2s. ;  paid  Games  and  others  that  were  Imployed  in 
watching  the  Seoels  4s." 

The  incompetency  of  General  Forster  hastened  the  end  of 
this  rebellion,  which  was  bad  in  plan  and  worse  in  execution. 
After  the  insurgents  surrendered  at  Preston,  a  severe  retribu- 
tion followed;  the  earl  of  Derwentwater  and  others  paid  the 
penalty  with  their  lives,  but  the  pusillanimous  Forster  escaped 
to  the  continent. 

Digitized  by 



The  untimely  fate  of  the  earl  of  Derwentwater  excited  deep 
sympathy ;  for  he  was  youngs  amiable,  and  generous^  and  had 
been  inconsiderately  involved  in  a  foolish  enterprise.  He 
was  connected  with  Alnwick  by  holding  property  there. 
From  letters  and  papers  during  the  reign  of  Henry  VIII.  we 
find  that  on  May  lOth,  1510,  a  grant  was  made  to  ^*  Edward 
Badcliff,  knight  of  the  body  and  Roger  Fenwick,  squire  of 
the  same,  lieutenants  of  the  Middle  Marches  towards  Scotland 
in  consideration  of  their  expenses  in  the  king's  affidrs  in  the 
Marches,  lands  in  the  barony  of  Alnwick  of  the  annual  value 
of  £S  18s.  4d./*  besides  other  lands  in  the  county ;  in  a  sub- 
sequent grant  on  April  Slst,  1514,  they  were  described  "  Fee 
farm  or  socage  of  the  lordship  of  Alnwick  to  the  annual 
value  of  £S  18s.  4d.''  The  house  in  Bailiffgate  at  the  head  of 
the  Peth,  described  as  the  slate  house  and  called  the  Derwent- 
water house,  including  Radcliff's  closes,  St.  Leonard's  Hos- 
pital and  Ginfin  belonged  to  the  earl  of  Derwentwater.  He 
was  also  owner  of  estates  at  Spindlestone,  for  which  he  owed 
suit  and  service  to  the  baron  of  Alnwick.  His  extensive 
possessions  were  forfeited,  and  given  by  the  crown  to  Green- 
wich Hospital 

Of  the  next  rebellion  in  1745  there  are  more  extended 
local  records.  The  reverses  suffered  by  the  British  arms  at 
Fontenoy  and  in  Flanders,  and  the  supposed  defenceless  state 
of  Britain  encouraged  Charles  Stuart,  the  son  of  the  pretender, 
to  hope  that  with  the  aid  of  France  he  could  recover  the 
English  throne  for  his  family.  He  landed  in  Scotland  on 
July  25th,  1745 ;  and  the  standard  of  rebellion  was  first  un- 
furled, on  August  19th  at  Glenfinnin.  He  made  a  triumphal 
entry  into  Edinburgh  on  September  17th ;  and  his  success  on 
the  Slst,  at  the  battle  of  Preston  Pans,  spread  alarm  in  the 
north  of  England.  I  have  heard  my  grandmother,  who  was 
then  about  twelve  vears  of  age,  describe  the  excited  state  of 
the  town  at  this  crisis ;  there  were  vrild  bustle  and  confusion — 
ordinary  business  was  neglected,  and  many  were  terrified 
with  the  fear  that  the  Highlanders  would,  some  night,  with 
one  fell  swoop  destroy  the  town  and  murder  the- people — ^the 
town  was  converted  into  a  military  barrack — trumpets  were 
sounding  in  the  streets,  drums  beating  and  fifes  playing — 
hurried  meetings  were  held,  and  soldiers  were  mustering,  or 
passing  through  the  town.  The  jolly  burgesses,  however, 
fired  with  love  of  their  country  and  religion,  were  preparing 
with  no  little  anxiety,  to  aid  in  repulsing  the  enemy.  The 
accounts  of  the  corporation  give  some  notion  of  what  was 

Digitized  by 



done  for  this  purpose ;  a  few  extracts  will  be  given.  Trifling 
perhaps  such  details  may  appear  to  some ;  nevertheless  they 
show  how  the  men  of  Alnwick  felt  and  acted  at  this  great 
crisis,  and  what  means  they  emjiloyed  to  give  help  in  behalf 
of  their  king,  their  laws  and  religion,  which  they  considered 
to  be  in  great